All police forces nationally will no longer record reports or accept responsibility for some found property items.
The national decision was approved by the National Police Chief’s Council (NPCC) after discussions between police forces and the National Police Front Counters Forum (NPFCF). Traditionally, police have accepted the responsibility of recording lost and found property, although there is no statutory duty to do so. This change follows recent amendments to the way police record lost property.
Chief Inspector Roy Hodder said: “Police services are under increasing pressure to reduce non-essential demand. The public are encouraged to retain the property themselves and try to reunite it with its owner wherever possible. In all cases reasonable steps to trace the owner should be made.
“Items that contain personal data should be reported to the issuing authority for example, the relevant bank for a debit card. If you are unable to do this and you hand it in to the police, we will forward this onto them for you. The card will not be retained by the police.
“If you find an item on licensed premises, private premises, such as a hotel, house, in a taxi, on public transport, on business premises or educational premises, you should hand it to staff as they should operate their own lost and found procedures.
“If you find an item and you believe it is stolen or has been involved with a crime, please report this to us online, via 101 or visit your local police station.”
Found property that will continue to be accepted and recorded by police includes:
Items capable of containing data e.g mobile phones, computers, tablets
Cash within wallets where an owner can be clearly identified
Items suspected of being stolen or involved in crime
Firearms and ammunition, explosives, chemicals
Found property that will be accepted and processed immediately:
Passports – UK, EU and International
Personal documentation (e.g. bank statements, benefit books)
Birth, marriage and death certificates
Found property that will no longer be accepted:
Empty handbags, bags, wallets and purses
Reports on lost and found property can be made online by copying and pasting this link into your browser:
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Alternatively you can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111, or online at www.crimestoppers-uk.org