The way the Constabulary handles lost and found property is
Suffolk Constabulary handles a large amount of lost and found
property at police station front counters, costing the organisation
a significant amount of money each year.
Police have no statutory obligation to deliver this service and
as part of the Suffolk Local Policing Review implemented in April
2016, procedures have been reviewed.
Front counters are open to the public in Ipswich, Bury St
Edmunds and Lowestoft. Certain types of lost and found
property are accepted at these front counters, but members of the
public are encouraged to consider whether the item in question
should be returned to an alternative agency.
Examples include driving licences which should be sent to the DVLA
and bank cards which should be returned to banks.
If you do not live near one of the three police stations that are
open to the public and you are unsure about what to do with an item
of found property, please call 101 for advice.
From autumn 2016, an enhanced online service will be available as
part of a new website to assist members of the public in dealing
with these items. From this time police front counters will
no longer accept lost and found property. Publicity will be
issued in advance of this change. Items linked to crime will
continue to be managed by the constabulary.
This is part of a significant project underway to improve the
Constabulary’s web based communication channels, reflecting
changing methods in which the public choose to communicate.
Members of the public are encouraged to consider registering high
value items of property on the website www.immobilise.com which will help police identify
whether a found item is linked to crime.
FROM AUTUMN 2016
When our new website goes
live in Autumn 2016, the following advice will be given:
Police will accept found property if:
- is believed to be related to a crime
- poses a direct threat to the public
- contains personal details relating to the owner.
What should I do if I have lost something?
If you've lost property such as cash, identification, cards,
handbags, cycles etc, re-trace your steps and contact the places
you've visited to see if they have it. The premises listed below
should have their own lost and found procedures:
- Licensed premises (pubs, nightclubs)
- Private premises (house, hotel, hostel)
- Taxi companies and businesses (shops, supermarkets)
- Public transport (trains, buses, trams) and educational
If you are unsuccessful, the following may be of assistance:
Driving licence, passport or other identification
Report the loss directly to the issuing
Credit, debit or store card
loss to the issuer. They will cancel the card(s) and arrange
Contact your service
provider as soon as possible.
Handbag, purse or wallet
issuers of any bank or credit cards as above.
Consider changing lock to ensure your
property remains secure.
Report the loss to the local
authority that issued the document.
My insurance company has asked for a reference
When we change our procedure later this year,
we won’t take reports of lost property so are unable to issue lost
property reference numbers.
I have found some property - can I keep the
You can't keep the item
- you keeping it would be unlawful (eg firearms, drugs,
explosives, offensive weapons etc). You should call us on 101.
- we believe it is evidence of a crime, eg a large sum of cash, a
weapon, or the location where it was found was unusual. Call us on
101 so we can check the item against existing reports.
- it shows someone's identity or may be used fraudulently or to
commit other crimes (e.g. credit/debit cards, DSS books, cheques
etc). You must contact the issuing authority.
- it contains, or potentially contains, personal data. Call us on
101 to discuss the circumstances in which it was found.
- it is an official or confidential document. This includes
anything belonging to a Government Department or Armed forces,
whether UK or foreign; and confidential personal documents which
identify an individual. You must contact the issuing
Only if the item you've found is not listed above and you've
made reasonable attempts to trace the legal owner can you assume
lawful ownership of the item.
However the original owner will always retain the right to reclaim
What do you mean by reasonable steps?
you find an item on private property, including car parks, you
should contact the owner / manager.
In other situations, you could put a notice in the local shop or
near where you found it. Social media is another useful
Can I throw it away or sell it?
dispose of an item (give to charity or sell it) if you've made
reasonable attempts to locate the owner.
NOTE: If the owner finds the item for
sale and is made aware that you sold it, common law entitles them
to the money you received from the sale. If you give the item to
charity you should advise them that the item is not yours and that
you found it.