Police are no longer dealing with lost property
DECLINE IN REPORTING OF MISSING ITEMS BLAMED FOR CHANGE IN POLICY
LOST property will no longer be dealt with by police services throughout the UK because of a decline in reporting of missing goods, it has been revealed.
The new policy means that local police forces will no longer record lost property and will not issue reference numbers for lost goods.
Anyone wanting to report an item as lost will instead be directed to online websites such as lostbox.co.uk, immobilise.com and reportmyloss.com among others, which already provide details of losses to police forces and insurance companies across the UK.
The changes will affect all police forces in England and Wales after it was agreed nationally by chief constables. It is also in acknowledgement of the fact there is no legal duty for the police to maintain a system of recording nonevidential property.
The chief constable of Staffordshire Police, Gareth Morgan, said: “Over the years, police forces have traditionally accepted the responsibility of recording lost property and the public have come to expect this as a service. The number of lost property reports the force receives has declined year-on-year and the way in which the service is utilised has also changed; often the requirement being to validate lost property for insurance purposes.
“Change can always be viewed as contentious. However, we will continue to take an active role in reuniting members of the public with their property should their items be found or later retrieved as stolen goods.”
Items such as phones, wallets or laptops cannot be reported to police, but there are still some materials on which police will issue advice. Hazardous items, such as firearms, shotguns, ammunition, explosives, poisons, toxins or chemicals should be reported to the police immediately. Any items with identifiable property, such as those bearing the owner’s name and address, do not need to be reported as lost; if it is handed in to the police, it will be returned to the owner.
Anybody who misplaces any prescribed drugs is advised to contact their GP or the NHS helpline service on 111 to find out what needs to be done.
A passenger forgets she has left her purse on the seat of a bus.