We appreciate that losing something valuable can be frustrating and upsetting and cause inconvenience to you. We will try and help if we can, however, we’re often not the best place to report items, and there are only certain items we can take reports of.
If you have lost any items on public transport or in a taxi you should contact the company to check their lost property. If you have lost an item in premises such as a hotel, shop or school, you should check with them, as this is the most likely location to have retained the item.
If your lost property was found in a public place and has information contained on or in it that would help us trace the owner (for instance a bankcard in a lost wallet or security markings such as UV pen), we will make every effort to let you know that we have your property and to return it to you.
If we are handed an item that appears valuable, but contains no way of identifying the owner, it will be recorded in our found property database. If your enquiries are unsuccessful, contact us using the online form or by calling 101 and we will check against our database of found property.
You will have to prove ownership of any item we do have in our system. It sometimes takes several days for property to be handed in to us so you may want to wait a week before contacting us to find out if we have your item. Please be aware that we only keep found property for 28 days.
If we are handed an item that appears to have little monetary value, (e.g. keys, pens, glasses), we won’t record these on our database and they will be disposed of.
For specific items, please see below -
If you have lost your Irish passport you should report to the Passport Office immediately. We will also record details of the loss.
If you have lost your UK passport you should report it as soon as possible to the passport office. They can be contacted on their advice line 0300 222 0000 or report online.
We do not retain or return passports handed into police stations, they are always sent back to the relevant passport office. If the passport is a not a UK or Irish Passport, report this in person at a police station
If you have lost your UK driving licence you should replace it as soon as possible with the DVLA. We do not retain nor return driving licences handed into police stations, they are always sent back to the DVLA.
If you’re on a contract and you lose your phone you should report it to your mobile phone provider immediately.
If you have lost your debit/credit cards you should report it as soon as possible to the bank, to ensure the cards are cancelled.
PSNI will destroy bank cards which are handed in to help prevent identity theft.
My insurance company has told me to report a loss to the police before they will process my claim. Can you advise?
We generally do not take reports of lost property and do not give out lost property reference numbers. As we cannot validate any claim of loss, there is no benefit in reporting to us, and in fact this just means you have to report a loss twice.
Many insurance companies will be aware of this. There is a letter available that you can email or print off and send to your insurance company if required.
Please hand the item to someone in the premises where it was found such as shops, restaurants, transport such as buses or taxis, or staff at an event or festival. They will often have their own property records.
If you find property then you have a legal responsibility to make reasonable efforts to locate the owner. Consider enquiries in nearby premises, using social media or leaving a note with your details. You should report any items which have an issuing authority e.g. Driving Licence to the relevant authority.
If you find any of the below items you are advised to visit your nearest Police Station or contact us immediately for advice on 101, or 999 in an emergency:
- Items likely to be linked to crime. This would include high value items (over £200) such as jewellery or laptops and large amounts of cash (£1,000 and over)
- Firearms, weapons or ammunition.
- Illegal drugs, quantities of used drug needles, unidentifiable substances or other items that may pose a danger or harm to others.
- Hazardous materials such as acids, poisons, corrosive liquids.
- All Passports
If you find any of these items in a public place -
If you find cash, please hand this into your nearest police station. Cash that is not reunited with the owner is donated to charity.
Please hand mobile phones, cameras or electronic device such as tablets and laptops in to your nearest Police Station and we will try and trace the owner
UK driving licences and identity cards
Any found UK driving licences should be returned to:
DVLA, Swansea, SA99 1AB
Any other found identity cards should be reported to the relevant issuing authority.
Birth, marriage, death certificates
The General Register Office asks that you destroy any birth, marriage or death certificates found in order to prevent fraudulent use.
If you have lost your house keys then in the first instance you should contact a local locksmith or your insurance company who will contact one on your behalf. The locksmith will get you into your house with the minimum of damage and be able to fit new locks to ensure that your property is safe.
If you have lost your car keys you need to contact the manufacturer of your vehicle who will obtain replacement keys. Modern vehicles with immobilisers may require specialist keys with transponders that can only be obtained from the manufacturer.
If you have a spare key to the vehicle you can use this to gain entry to the vehicle and should try to obtain this to get your vehicle home or to a garage.
If you have found a bicycle which is in a new condition please telephone us on 101 with a good description of the cycle including any serial numbers. All other found bicycles should be reported to your local council. If the bike has a frame ID, you check for owner details on www.bikeregister.com
If you have lost any prescription drugs or medicines, contact your GP/medical practitioner. Re-trace your steps and make enquiries in the area where you think you may have lost them.
If you find any prescription drugs or medicines please take them to the nearest chemist who will dispose of them safely.
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 items, which includes placing them in a bin.
Any other queries
If you require further assistance with lost or found items, please telephone us on 101 or visit your nearest suitable police station.