Beds Police is cease dealing with lost property and accepting only certain types of found items.
The changes take effect nationally from today (1 February) after the Chief Constables’ Council agreed it as a way of reducing non-essential demand and the associated costs and bureaucracy generated for call centres and front counters.
The police service has traditionally accepted the responsibility of recording lost and found property, despite there being no statutory duty to maintain a system of recording non-evidential property.
Found items dealt with by police will reduce and a consistent approach will be adopted across the country. This will help reduce call volumes and remove an unnecessary burden on policing.
Jay Khan, Bedfordshire Police’s enquiry office manager, said: “As with any change to a long-standing convention, it will take time for people to get used to this new way of working.
“There are now many ways of receiving the same service online and information and guidance will be available on our website. These changes will result in a significant saving for forces in terms of time and money, allowing us to concentrate on the issues most important to people.
“For found items we no longer accept, with some exceptions, the finder will be encouraged to retain the property. They are under no legal obligation to hand in the property providing they have made a reasonable attempt to return it to the owner.”
For guidance on what to do if you lose an item, and for categories of items the force will and will not accept, visit the police website.
Any loss can be reported online at sites including:
www.reportmyloss.com (for an insurance report)
For bicycles, register and report at www.bikeregister.com
Report UK Passports at https://www.gov.uk/report-a-lost-or-stolen-passport
Details of losses reported via these methods are made available to police forces across the UK.
If you have lost property in a public place/premises or on public transport, contact the location or service provider directly.
The following categories have been created for found items:
• Items capable of containing data eg mobile phones and computers.
• Cash and wallets that are identifiable
• Unidentifiable cash
• Identity and personal documents
• Personal but unidentifiable items
For non-accepted items, with some exceptions, the finder can retain the property. They are under no legal obligation to hand in the property providing they have made a reasonable attempt to return it to the owner.