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If I lose something in a shop, or pub, or on public transport, what will happen?

It is unlikely that such items will be handed to the police. Businesses such as shops and pubs and transport companies etc. have their own lost/found procedures. If you think you have lost something whilst you were out and about, you should retrace your steps and contact premises you've been to or transport companies you have used, to see whether your item has been found by them.