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Lost and found property

Lost property

The Police Service in England and Wales do not take reports of lost property and will not issue lost property reference numbers.  We do not investigate or validate claims of loss.

Lost property advice

Where your item is serial numbered, we recommend that you register at www.immobilise.com free of charge.  This will help the police if your property is ever stolen. 

You can report any loss at a number of places online for example:

Where the item is a pedal cycle, we recommend that you register and report the item lost at www.bikeregister.com.

Details of losses reported via these methods are made available to police forces across the UK.  This ensures the best chance of being reunited with your property. This information is already available to insurance companies and service providers using the NMPR™ and Bike Register system, which makes any further loss report unnecessary.

If you think you have lost your property in a public place/premises or on public transport, such as

  • Licensed premises (pubs, bars, nightclubs)
  • Private premises (house, hotel, hostel)
  • Business premises (restaurants, shops, supermarkets, offices, entertainment venues)
  • Educational premises (schools, universities, colleges)
  • Public transport (trains, buses, trams)
  • Taxis (including Private Hire vehicles)
  • Airport

you should make direct contact as they often operate their own lost and found property service and are better placed to deal with your enquiry.

We do not issue lost property reference numbers.

If your insurance company has asked you to contact us for a reference number, you can send our Insurance Notice document to them.

Found property

If you have found property, your legal obligation is to try to reunite it with the owner. You could do this by putting up a notice near to where you found the item, or handing it in to the police.

You may be able to keep the item you have found on the understanding that if the owner comes forward, you must give it back.

If we have retained the item, you can make a claim to keep it if the owner is not identified within 28 days.  You will need to complete a form to make the claim.

There are certain items that you are not allowed to keep and claim under any circumstances. These include mobile phones, identification documents, weapons and war medals. If you find cash, you will not be able to keep hold of it, but will be able to claim it after 28 days.

Found property you do not need to report to us

You should return the following items to the issuing authority:

  • Driving Licence – return to: DVLA, Swansea, SA99 1AB
  • Passports - contact the Passport Office on 0300 222 0000 or www.direct.gov.uk.  If you find a foreign national passport please send to relevant foreign embassy.  For security reasons, passports must be returned to the issuing authority.
  • Bankcard or cheque book – return to the issuing bank/building society.  Instructions may be on the back of the card.
  • Birth, death or marriage certificate - return to the issuing office. In Lincolnshire this is Lincolnshire County Council.

If you find any of the following items, please hand into your nearest police station.

  • weapons
  • ammunition
  • poison
  • toxics
  • other dangerous chemicals or Drugs (prescribed / non-prescribed)

How we deal with found property

We deal with found property in one of the following ways:

  • We will return property such as driving licences, passports or bankcards to the issuing authority.
  • We will make every effort to return property that contains identifying information to the owner.
  • We will record found property of value, if we cannot trace the owner, on our property database.
  • If we receive an item that appears valuable, but contains no way of identifying the owner, we will record it on our found property database. If you have lost such an item you can ring us on 101 to enquire whether we have it. You will have to prove ownership of any item we do have in our system.
  • We only keep recorded found property for 28 days.
  • We will dispose of items item that appears to have little monetary value such as keys, pens and glasses.  We do not record such items on our database.

Property marking and registration

You can register your property FOR FREE using Immobilise, a national, police approved database.  

See our property registration and marking page for more details.

Report it

If you think your items have been stolen, call 101 to report it or report it online.

We do not take reports of lost property and do not issue lost property reference numbers.

More help and support

Property registration service

Related Documents & Further Reading

11 Dec 18 10:47 AM

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