Po­lice are no longer deal­ing with lost prop­erty

DE­CLINE IN RE­PORT­ING OF MISS­ING ITEMS BLAMED FOR CHANGE IN POL­ICY

Burton Mail - - News - By BETH PRIDDING bethany.pridding@reach­plc.com @beth­prid­ding

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.

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