Lost Or Found In A Public Place

Police introduce new streamlined approach to the service

The new approach was devised following consultation with staff, partners and the public.

From 1st September the police will:

  • No longer formally record or issue lost property reference numbers.
  • Only take in found property in limited circumstances.
  • Continue to provide the best advice possible, including signposting you to other organisations who would be better placed to assist.

The Police will only deal with certain items where they are lost or found in public places. This includes items dropped in the street, left at a bus stop, on a bench, etc.

If you have lost an item, they recommend you always retrace your steps and make enquiries in the area(s) it may be have been misplaced.

If you have found an item, you have a legal responsibility to make reasonable efforts
to find the owner.

If the item lost or found is dangerous and could cause harm, you should contact the Police immediately!


If the item was lost or found on private property or on public transport, then the police offer the following advice.

Cycles: If the item has a serial number you should also record the loss at www.immobilise.com
or www.bikeregister.com

Public Transport: National rail: Speak to a member of train staff. Alternatively, for more information contact National Rail enquiries on: 08457 48 49 50 or go to www.nationalrail.co.uk.
London underground, overground, London buses, London taxis or minicabs: TfL Lost property office, 200 Baker Street, London, NW1 5RZ. Tel: 0343 222 1234.

Private Property: This includes places such as shops, clubs, pubs, leisure centres, places of work, private vehicles and coaches Often private organisations will have their own lost and found property services. If so, they are best placed to deal with items you have lost or may have found.

Not sure: Please speak to a member of staff at the front counter or dial 101.

Please note the police no longer issue lost property reference numbers

Hazardous Items: such as firearms, shotguns and ammunition, or poisons, toxins or chemicals
Report to a member of staff IMMEDIATELY or dial 999!

Mobile telephones, MP3 players, computers or ANY equipment with a serial number (including bicycles): You can report the loss and print a certificate for free via www.immobilise.com. For pedal cycles, please visit www.bikeregister.com. Reports are searchable by Police forces nationwide and insurance companies to help restore property or process a claim.

Identifiable items: (e.g. with owner’s name and address or other contact details in or on the item) You do not need to report the loss. If the item is handed in the police will make efforts to contact you.

Items which do not have a serial number but have a high monetary:
(over £500) or sentimental value (e.g. heirlooms) Please speak to a member of staff who will see what additional assistance we could offer.

Prescribed medication and drugs
: You do NOT need to report this matter to us. Should you
require any medical assistance, please speak to a member of staff or dial 999.

Passports, driving licences and ID cards
: You do not need to report the loss to Police.
UK passports or driving licences: Report directly to the Passport Office or DVLA.
Foreign passports, ID cards and driving licences: Report directly to your embassy or high commission.
Other official documents (e.g. birth certificates, bank statements) or bank cards: Report direct to the issuing authority.

Unidentifiable, low value items
: Please be advised we do not take in such items, including
luggage, empty purses, empty wallets or low-value unidentifiable items such as umbrellas, spectacles, used or soiled clothing, perishable goods, rubbish, or similar.

A letter explaining our policy is available from www.met.police.uk/lostandfound or by speaking to a member of staff

September 4, 2014