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What do I do if I have found something?

If you have found someone's property, your legal obligation is to try to reunite it with the owner. You could do this by asking people who live nearby or putting up a notice near to where you found the item.

If you find identification documents such as a driving licence or passport, for security reasons you should send them back to the issuing authority. If you find a bankcard, please follow the instructions on the back of the card.

If you find an item in any of the areas below you should contact the manager of the premises to report the item as being found:

  •     Licence premises (pubs, nightclubs)
  •     Private premises (house, hotel, hostel)
  •     Taxis
  •     Public transport (trains, buses, trams)
  •     Business premises (shops, supermarkets)
  •     Educational premises (schools, universities, colleges)

If you find an item in a place other than those listed above, please report it using our online form.

If I report something to the police that I’ve found, can I keep it or do I hand it over to the police?

We will always inform you if an item has to be handed into to the police. After completing the online form we will send you a reply stating whether the item has to be brought into the police station.

You can only retain the item on the understanding that if the owner comes forward, you must give it back.

If the item is retained by the police, you may be able to claim you can collect the property if the owner is not identified within 28 days. There are certain items that members of the public are not allowed to retain and claim under any circumstances. These include mobile phones, computers, laptops, iPads and other tablets. If you find cash, you will not be able to keep hold of it, but will be able to claim it after 28 days.

Can I claim a mobile phone I found if it was not returned to the owner?

You can’t claim a mobile phone that has been handed in to the police. The police can’t give a mobile phone to the finder as it may contain personal data about the owner.