Found property information
The police will only accept and record the below stated found property:
- items capable of containing data for example mobile phones, computers, tablets, memory sticks, Fit Bits, or similar containing data
- cash within wallets that are identifiable with owner details or name
- unidentifiable cash over £1000 pounds not contained in any wallet or bag with identification. Amounts under £1000 will be retained by finder, if not contained in wallet or bag with owner identification.
- firearms, ammunition, explosives or chemicals. 'Hazardous items, if safe to handle will be accepted by the police. Call 101 for advice on explosive or hazardous materials. Chemical disposal can be arranged with local authorities and refuse centres. If it is posing an immediate risk call 999.
- medication (please note that prescription medication should be handed to a local pharmacist for disposal)
- suspected illegal substance / drugs (cannabis etc...) Please contact 101 to advise of find. Request call taker reference number from 101 triage operator and advise which station Enquiry Office these will be taken to and when.
- passports, bank cards or identity cards – these can also be returned to the company of issue directly – please refer to the ‘found passport’ section on this page for detail
- personal documentation (for example, bank statements, benefit books)
- birth, marriage and death certificates
- items suspected of being involved in crime – when reporting found property of this nature please ensure you explain your reasons for suspecting this.
You can report the above found property to Dorset Police:
The police will not accept any property which is listed below:
- Empty handbags, bags, suitcases, wallets and purses
- Watches (except if capable of containing personal data)
- Unidentifiable property - where an owner is not identifiable
- Unidentifiable cash under £1000 will be retained by finder, if not contained in wallet or bag with owner identification. Please inform 101 or firstname.lastname@example.org of your find and make attempts to advertise find on social media platforms.
Further advice regarding some of the above found items can be found in the below section.
- Prescription drugs/medicines – should be taken to the nearest chemist who will dispose of them safely
- Needles - report to your local council or chemist’s sharps bin
- Blue disabled parking permits - report to your local council
- Bicycles – if the bicycle is in new condition you can record the details on the National Cycle Database Bike Register - www.bikeregister.com. You can also check here to verify if the bicycle has been stolen - if the owner has reported the cycle stolen or lost, it will appear on here. You can also register your own cycle here for security.
- If possible, retain the bicycle at the finder home address. Check the frame number and model/make and provide the location found, your contact details, and address to Counter Services and request for a check to be made as to if it is stolen property. If you receive no reports back that the item is stolen, please retain cycle for 28 days, then either keep or dispose of it as preferred.
- If you are unable to retain the bicycle at the home address, bring it to an open enquiry office and checks can be made. If it is not identified as stolen/crime related, the cycle will not be accepted by the police. Arrangements for disposal or retention then lie with the finder.
- Jewellery - For items of found jewellery, please call 101 or email Counter Services and provide details of item found. You will be provided with a reference number in due course, showing your efforts to find an owner. It is suggested to consider placing your found item on one of the social media platforms such as Face Book, Lost Box.com, or similar, or advise the local authority of your find. Please retain your found item of jewellery for 42 days before considering personal retention, or disposal, allowing time for an owner to contact you should this item be seen on media. Thank you.
Found a passport?
If you have found a British passport it does not need to be handed into the police and should be returned directly to the British Passport Agency as quickly as possible.
To send a British passport to the British Passport Agency please complete the form available below, follow the instructions and send the form and passport using the free postal address provided on the form.
If you have found a non-British passport please attend a police enquiry office to hand it in.