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Heritage crime, as defined by Historic England, is any offence which harms the value of heritage assets and their settings. Heritage assets are sites which are considered to have value to the heritage of England. Such sites include –

• Listed buildings
• Scheduled monuments
• World Heritage Sites
• Protected marine wreck sites
• Conservation areas
• Registered parks and gardens
• Registered battlefields
• Protected military remains of aircraft and vessels of historic interest
• Undesignated but acknowledged heritage buildings and sites.

This offence may take place indirectly through other crimes; those that are posing the largest threat to heritage sites are -

• Criminal damage – vandalism, graffiti and arson
• Architectural theft – in particular metal and stone
• Unlawful metal detecting - often referred to as 'Nighthawking'
• Anti-social behaviour- in particular fly-tipping and off-road driving
• Illicit trade in cultural objects
• Unauthorised works to a listed building or scheduled monument.

Please see the links in related websites for further information.

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Answers in this FAQ section are provided by the 'Ask the Police' website. Produced by the Police National Legal Database (PNLD) team, 'Ask the Police' is an official police site approved by the National Police Chiefs Council (NPCC). All FAQ answers are © PNLD.