We do not record reports of lost property and do not issue lost property reference numbers. However, we understand that losing property can be stressful and to assist you, we will check our found property database to see if the item has been handed in.
Please fill out our found property enquiry form to begin this process.
If found property is handed in to us, it will generally be dealt with in one of the following ways:
If we are handed property such as driving licences, passports or bankcards, for security reasons, we do not keep them, but return them to the issuing authority. You should report the loss of these items directly to them.
If your lost property has any information contained on or in it that would help us trace the owner (for instance a bankcard in a lost wallet or security markings such as UV pen post coding), we will make every effort to let you know that we have your property and to return it to you.
If we are handed an item that appears valuable, but contains no way of identifying the owner, it will be recorded in 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. It sometimes takes several days for property to be handed in to us so you may want to wait a week or so before contacting us to find out if we have your item. Please be aware that we can only keep recorded found property for 28 days.
If we are handed an item that appears to have little monetary value, (e.g. keys, pens, glasses), we won’t record such items on our database and they will be disposed of.
Property lost in a public place
If you have lost an item, we recommend you always retrace your steps and make enquiries in the area(s) it may have been misplaced.
Lost property reference numbers
We will not record lost property or provide lost property reference numbers for the following items:
If you have lost a mobile phone, there is no need to report the matter to a police station, unless the phone has been stolen and you are reporting a criminal offence by calling 101. To give you the best chance to recover your phone, it is advised that you are familiar with your service provider’s guidance on tracing and tracking your phone online. This information is usually provided on your service provider’s website or with the provision of an app. Report the loss to your service provider as they can disable your phone. You may also record details of your loss and record details of your phone and IMEI number yourself on www.immobilise.com.
If you have been directed to report your loss to the police by your insurance company or mobile phone service provider, please inform them that we no longer provide reference numbers in the above circumstances. You can download our standard letter for your insurance company.
My insurance company has told me to report a loss to the police before they will process my claim. Is this right?
No. we do not take reports of lost property and do not give out lost property reference numbers. As we cannot validate any claim of loss, there is no benefit to reporting to us, and in fact just means you have to report a loss twice.
We have informed insurance companies of the above. There is a notice available [PDF] that you can email/print off and send to your insurance company if required.
Property found in a public place
If you find any of the below items you are advised to visit your nearest police station or contact us immediately for advice on 101, or 999 in an emergency:
- Items you believe may be linked to a crime that the police would wish to retain as potential evidence. This would include high value items such as jewellery, laptops and large amounts of cash
- Non-UK passports
- Illegal drugs/quantities of used drug needles, unidentifiable substances or other items that may pose a danger or harm to others
- Pornographic material
If you have found any items not listed above, you have a legal responsibility to make reasonable efforts to find the owner. Consider enquiries in nearby premises, placing an advertisement in the local newspapers, utilise social media sites or leave a note with your details. You should report any items which have an issuing authority (e.g. driving licences, birth/death/marriage certificates, UK passports) to the relevant authority.
For more specific property advice, please see expanded details below.
What to do with specific items
Found UK passports should be returned to the passport office:
PO Box 215
Prior to posting any passports, cut the top right corner of the front and back cover and the person details page.
You must report the loss of a passport to Her Majesty's Passport Office (HM Passport Office) as soon as possible in order to help prevent future misuse of the document.:
- Passport Advice Line - 0300 222 0000
(Monday-Friday 8am - 8pm, weekends and public holidays 9am - 5.30pm)
Found non-UK passports should be reported to the police as soon as possible on 101 or hand in at the nearest police station.
UK Driving Licences and Identity Cards
If you have lost a UK driving licence, please report it to the DVLA.
Any found UK driving licences should be returned to:
Any other lost/found identity cards should be reported to the relevant issuing authority.
Birth, marriage, death certificates
The General Register Office ask that you destroy any birth, marriage or death certificates found in order to prevent fraudulent use.
If you have lost your house keys then in the first instance you should contact a local locksmith or your insurance company who will contact one on your behalf. The locksmith will get you into your house with the minimum of damage and be able to fit new locks to ensure that your property is safe.
If you have lost your car keys you need to contact the manufacturer of your vehicle who will obtain replacement keys. Modern vehicles with immobilisers may require specialist keys with transponders that can only be obtained from the manufacturer.
If you have a spare key to the vehicle you can use this to gain entry to the vehicle and should try to obtain this to get your vehicle home or to a garage.
Follow the instructions on the back of the bank card or statement.
Any other official documents
Any lost or found documents should be reported to the relevant issuing authority.
Any found electronic devices such as laptops, tablets, cameras and mobile phones should be handed in at your local enquiry office and we will try to trace the owner.
If you find a mobile phone you should hand it in at your local enquiry office and we will try to trace the owner.
If you have lost a mobile phone, contact your service provider who may block your phone and arrange a replacement.
If you have found a bicycle which is in new condition please telephone us on 101 with a good description of the cycle including any serial numbers. All other found bicycles should be reported to your local council.
If you have lost any prescription drugs or medicines, contact your GP/medical practitioner. Re-trace your steps and make enquiries in the area where you think you may have lost them.
If you find any prescription drugs or medicines please take them to the nearest chemist who will dispose of them safely.
If you find needles in the street, your local council has a duty to remove these. Prior to contacting your council ensure that you do not touch the items, which includes placing them in a bin.
Blue disabled parking permits
Any lost or found disabled parking permits should be reported to your local council.
Property lost or found elsewhere
If the item was lost or found on private property (including shops, restaurants or pubs) or on public transport (including taxis, trains or coaches) we recommend that you contact the establishment or transport provider where the item was lost or found – they often have their own property records.
Any other queries
For all other lost/found items or if in any doubt, please telephone us on 101 or visit your nearest police station.