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Non-Emergency Enquiries: 101

Found Property

Most found property does NOT need to be passed to police. Items can be handed to the premises owner or public transport operator where they were found.

Items found containing personal data should be reported to the issuing authority, if you are unable to do this and you hand this into the police, we will forward this onto them for you. This will not be retained by the police.

If you have found any items that are NOT listed below and the property is identifiable it is your responsibility to make reasonable efforts to trace the owner. 

There are certain items that members of the public are not allowed to retain and claim under any circumstances. These include: drugs; firearms, weapons, ammunition;Passports; items suspected of being involved in crime: high value items; laptops and cameras; mobile phones; unidentifiable substances; or other items that may pose a danger or harm to others.

Please hand any of the above into a police station so we can trace the owner or otherwise deal with them safely.

Do not attempt to handle any hazardous/dangerous items you find. Please inform us straightaway.

See unclaimed property for advice on what happens to the item if the owner is not traced.

If you think you have found property in a public place/premises or on public transport, such as:

  • Licensed premises (pubs, bars, nightclubs) 
  • Private premises (house, hotel, hostel) 
  • Business premises (restaurants, shops, supermarkets, offices, entertainment venues) 
  • Educational premises (schools, universities, colleges) 
  • Public transport (trains, buses, trams) 
  • Taxis (including Private Hire vehicles) 
  • Airport

You should make direct contact as they often operate their own lost and found property service and are better placed to deal with your enquiry.

Accept and Record - Some items are appropriate or legally required to be brought to a police station so that we can fulfil our legal obligations under law. Do not attempt to handle any hazardous/dangerous items you find. Instead, please inform us straight away.

  • Items capable of containing data for example mobile phones, computers, tablets.
  • Cash within wallets that are identifiable
  • Unidentifiable cash
  • Items suspected of being involved in crime
  • High Value Items
  • Firearms and ammunition
  • Weapons
  • Drugs
  • HM Forces ID, Equipment and Force Medals
  • Explosives
  • Chemicals

Process Immediately - For items that fall into this category presented to front counters, Staffordshire Police would take the item and forward it on to the appropriate organisation as listed on the rear of the item. However members of the public will also be encouraged to do this themselves.

  • Passports
  • Bank cards
  • Identity cards
  • Personal documentation (e.g. bank statements, benefit books)
  • Birth, marriage and death certificates
  • Driving Licences

Not accept - These are items that will no longer be accepted as found property unless they are suspected of being involved in crime:

  • Bicycles
  • Kitchen knives and cutlery
  • Empty handbags, bags, wallets and purses
  • Cases
  • Clothing
  • Perishable goods
  • Animals
  • Rubbish/Waste
  • Umbrellas
  • Keys
  • Spectacles
  • Watches (except if capable of containing personal data)
  • Jewellery

FAQs [273KB]

Found Property Poster [216KB]

Stray Dogs

If you find a stray dog and it has no address tag or telephone number on its collar, please contact your local authority. You can also find information on the local authority websites, including who to contact and what to do out of office hours.

The police no longer have responsibility for stray dogs and only need to be informed if a stray animal is on the public highway. Only contact the police if the dog is dangerous or a banned breed.

Please reduce the chance of your dog becoming lost by following the guidance below:

  • Ensure your dog can be identified with your name and address / telephone number on a collar and tag
  • Make sure your dog is microchipped with the details of ownership  and ensure  this information is up to date
  • Keep your dog under your control when exercising it
  • Check your property to make sure your dog cannot escape. Repair fences and close/lock gates

Passports

Found UK passports should be returned to the issuing authority.

Found non-UK passports should be reported to the police as soon as possible.

Official Documents

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.

Any other official documents

Any found documents should be reported to the relevant issuing authority.

Prescription Medicines

If you find any prescription medication please take them to the nearest pharmacy who will dispose of them safely.

Needles

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 item, which includes placing them in a bin.

Driving Licences

If you find a driving licence you should return it to DVLA. Identification cards can be returned to the address on the reverse of the card. If you are unable to do this, this can be handed into Staffordshire Police who will forward to them.

Bank Cards

Follow the instructions on the back of the card found. If you are unable to do this, this can be handed into Staffordshire Police who will forward to them.

Low Value Items

For unidentifiable low value property, such as empty handbags, bags, cases, wallets, purses, used clothing, perishable goods, umbrellas, spectacles,  bicycles, clothing, keys etc. If you have made reasonable efforts to trace the owner and the property is still unidentified then there is nothing more the police can do and you should dispose of the property safely.

 

 

Cash

If you find cash in a shop, near a bank/cashpoint, pub or other premises then this should be handed in to the establishment where it was found. 

Alternatively you should hand the cash in at your nearest police station.

We would actively encourage any member of the public who picks up money that has been dropped to be honest and do the right thing by taking all reasonable steps to try and find the owner.

For small amounts of cash eg.5p, 10p etc. people are advised to use their discretion and may wish to donate their find to a charity box. In these circumstances reuniting the owner with such a small amount would be less likely.

Finders keepers isn't the law

Cash within wallets that are identifiable should be handed into the police as there is a line of enquiry to follow.

Mobile Phones & Laptops

Found items that are capable of containing data need to be handed into the police to be handled appropriately.

Items Suspected Involved in Crime

This should be handed into the police as there is a potential line of enquiry to follow.

Firearms and Hazardous Substances

Do not attempt to handle any hazardous/dangerous items you find. Please inform us straightaway. This is because the police deal with the disposal of all hazardous items in a safe and secure manner.

Knives

If a knife has been found in a public domain please do not handle this and contact the police as there maybe a potential line of enquiry to follow.

We do not accept:

  • Bicycles
  • Empty handbags, bags, wallets and purses
  • Cases
  • Perishable goods
  • Animals
  • Rubbish/waste
  • Umbrellas
  • Keys
  • Spectacles
  • Watches (except if capable of containing personal data)
  • Jewellery