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Found property


Lost and found property is not the police's responsibility, however some forces do provide a service with regards to lost and found property. You can find out if your local force offer this by telephoning their non-emergency 101 number.

If they do provide this service, you will be given a form that entitles you to collect the property if it is not claimed within a specified period (except mobile phones and any other unsuitable objects). This period provides the owner with a reasonable amount of time to come forward and for attempts to be made to locate the owner, allowing for circumstances where a person may not have noticed that something is lost, or where they are on holiday.

28 days is a common period of time for this purpose, but can vary from force to force. Your local force will advise you of the relevant time periods when you report an item as found.


In a bid to ease pressure on resources, the police are no longer able to assist with general lost and found property. Most Police forces in England and Wales can only accept certain found items, this is not an exhaustive list but would include:

  • Items that contain personal data (mobile phones, tablets, laptops etc.)
  • Illicit items (weapons, ammunition, drugs)
  • Significant amounts of cash
  • Items of high value

As a mobile phone could contain personal data about its owner, the police are unable to pass it onto the finder.


The police do hold auctions for stolen/recovered property. Details can be found on your local police force website.

There is also an online auction facility for police auctions. Please see the websites in related information.

Contact your local police force

Enter your town or postcode to see information from your local force

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