If you lose an item in a public place, or have found an item of value you believe belongs to somebody, then the information below will help you to understand what to do.
Property lost in a public place
If you think you have lost your property in a public place/premises or on public transport, such as:
- Licensed premises (pubs, bars, nightclubs)
- Private premises (house, hotel, hostel)
- Business premises (restaurants, shops, supermarkets, offices, entertainment venues
- Educational premises (schools, universities, colleges)
- Public transport (trains, buses, trams)
- Taxis (including Private Hire vehicles)
You should make direct contact as they often operate their own lost and found property service and are better placed to deal with your enquiry.
- Items with an issuing authority e.g. driving licences, UK passports, bank cards, ID cards, blue disabled badges, please report the loss to the relevant issuing authority.
Lost property reference numbers
We will not record lost property, or provide lost property reference numbers for any items.
- We recommend serial numbered items are registered via www.immobilise.com free of charge. This will help the police if your property is ever stolen.
You can also report lost items at a number of places online for example:
Details of losses reported via these methods are made available to Police forces across the UK. This ensures the best chance of being reunited with your property. This information is already available to insurance companies and service providers using the NMPR™ and Bike Register system, which makes any further loss report unnecessary.
If you have been directed to report your loss to the police by your insurance company or mobile phone service provider, please inform them that we no longer provide reference numbers. You may download our standard letter from the 'Related Documents' section to help you explain this.
Property found in a public place
If you find any of the below items you are advised to contact us for advice on 101, or in an emergency i.e. if the item poses a danger or harm to others dial 999.
- Items you believe may be linked to a crime
- Non-UK passports
- Illegal drugs/unidentifiable substances or other items that may pose a danger or harm to others
- Indecent/pornographic material
- Electronic devices i.e tablets, ipads, laptops, and mobile phones,
If you have found any items not listed above, you have a legal responsibility to make reasonable efforts to find the owner. Consider enquiries in nearby premises, placing advertisement in the local newspaper, or utilising social media sites
You should report any items which have an issuing authority (e.g. driving licences, birth certificates, and UK passports) to the relevant authority.
What to do with specific items
Found UK passports should be returned to the passport office (Passport Returns, General Section, PO Box 215, Peterborough, Cambs, PB11QQ). Prior to posting any passports, cut the top right corner of the front and back cover and the person details page.
You must report the loss of a passport to Her Majesty's Passport Office (HM Passport Office) by calling the Passport Advice Line (Mon-Fri 8am - 8pm, weekends and public holidays 9am - 5.30pm) on 0300 222 0000 as soon as possible in order to help prevent future misuse of the document.
UK Driving Licences and Identity Cards
If you have lost a UK driving licence, please report it to the DVLA. Any found UK driving licences should be returned to DVLA, Swansea, SA99 1AB.
Any other lost/found identity cards should be reported to the relevant issuing authority.
Birth, marriage, death certificates
The General Register Office ask 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 should contact the vehicle manufacturer who will obtain replacement keys. 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.
The Master Locksmiths Association website can help you find a registered locksmith.
Follow the instructions on the back of the bank card or statement.
Any other official documents
Any lost or found documents should be reported to the relevant issuing authority.
Any found electronic devices such as laptops, tablets, cameras and mobile phones please contact for advice on 101.
If you find a mobile phone please contact for advice on 101.
If you have lost a mobile phone, contact your service provider for advice on blocking your phone.
Found bicycles should be reported to your local council.
If you have lost any prescription drugs or medicines, contact your GP/medical practitioner.
If you find any prescription drugs or medicines please take them to the nearest Pharmacy 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 item, which includes placing them in a bin. You can find your local council's contact details on our Needles page.