Frequently Asked Questions

I found some property, what should I do?

For the majority of found items there is no need to bring it into the station - you can hold on to it and inform us through this website.

However, there are some items of property that must be brought into a police station instead. These include items that may be illegal to possess or contain personal data. Examples of this include mobile phones, cameras, laptops, ipads, dangerous weapons etc.

Where can I hand found property items in to?

You can hand found property in to one of our three main stations at Hatfield, Stevenage of Watford. Please click on the link for address and opening times: Hertfordshire Police Stations

I lost something – what should I do?

If you believe the item to have been stolen from you then you must call 101 to report a crime. However, if you’ve simply lost the item you can report it on this website.

Hertfordshire Constabulary do not take reports of items lost more than 21 days ago or reports of items lost outside Hertfordshire County. You should report the loss to the relevant Constabulary.

You should not report items here that you have simply misplaced in your home.

Firstly, backtrack where you have been when you may have lost the property, and contact staff at those places.

For example, if you ate out at a restaurant, contact them to see if staff have found it. If travelling on a bus or train please make enquiries with the relevant company to determine whether your property has been handed in.

Once these checks have been made, most lost property can be reported to us via this website, whereby we will contact you if your property does get handed in. Please make sure you have a full and detailed description, along with any serial numbers or other identifiable information.

Certain lost items are not suitable for reporting to the police as follows:

Lost Mobile Phones:

There is no need to report the matter to a police station, unless the phone has been stolen and you are reporting a criminal offence by calling 101. If you have lost your mobile phone, you should report it to your network provider as soon as possible so that they can disable your phone. You should then record the loss on the National website IMMOBILISE www.immobilise.com. If police recover a mobile phone they automatically check the IMMOBILISE website in order to reunite the phone with its owner. If you do not have access to the internet or do not have a friend or family who will be able to help you do this, then staff at this station will assist you to record the loss on the National Police Database www.thenmpr.com. This website is also accessible by insurance companies. Hertfordshire police do not record lost phones in local records or provide local reference numbers.

Lost Keys:

Hertfordshire Police do not take reports of lost keys. If you have lost your keys you should:

  • Re-trace your steps and contact places you’ve visited to see if they have the keys.
  • Visit or telephone the nearest Police Station to where the keys were lost to see if they have been handed in (Hertfordshire Police Stations)
  • Consider getting your locks changed to make sure your property remains secure.

Lost credit/debit cards:

You should contact your bank or credit card company and report the loss to them. They will then cancel the card and issue a replacement. It is imperative that you report the matter to the bank as soon as possible, as the card needs to be deactivated so that it cannot be used. You do not need to report the loss to the police. If items such as debit/credit cards are handed in to us, we will contact the card issuer and then securely destroy the card.

Lost passport/driving licence or other government issued documents?

Hertfordshire Police do not record details of lost documents or cards which contains information that enables the loser or issuer to be identified, e.g. DSS cheque, driving licence, credit cards etc. This is because we return such items to the issuing authority automatically when they are found.

UK passports or DL - If you have lost your UK passport or driving licence, you should report the matter as soon as possible to the United Kingdom Passport Service (UKPS) or the DVLA as follows:

Non-UK passports or documents – If your non-UK passport, non-UK ID cards, foreign residency permits or other travel related documents have been lost or stolen you must attend one of our three main stations at Hatfield, Stevenage of Watford. Reports of these items on HertsReunited will be rejected. Please click on the link for address and opening times: Hertfordshire Police Stations

Why can’t I keep the mobile phone that I found?

Mobile phones contain personal data and its contents are covered by the data protection act 1988. Phones usually contain confidential or privileged material, personal data or other personal information both on the SIM card and the phone itself. Hertfordshire Constabulary will make every effort to try and reunite the owners with their lost phone. However, if we are unable to successfully reunite owners we will manage the safe handling through a secure data management company.

I have found a firearm / weapon what do I do?

If you have found a firearm or weapon please do not handle it. You should call 101 and report it immediately where you will be further advised.

How can I help ensure my bike is returned to me if lost/stolen?

There are a number of things you can do it increase the chances of your bike being reunited if lost/stolen. Before registering your bicycle on Immobilise take a photograph and along with this record the frame number and any key details such as make and model. Mark your frame with your postcode in two separate locations if possible, one of which should be hidden. Collectively this information stored on your Immobilise account will be crucial in recovering your bicycle should it be lost or stolen. Hertfordshire Constabulary periodically hold mark marking events. Look for details of these events on our website.

If I find a lost item can I keep it?

In some circumstances a finder can claim and retain a found item if we have been unsuccessful in identifying an owner. As a general rule we will consider claims to found property after 28 days from the date of being reported to us however there may be special circumstances when we may require more time to identify the owner.

Certain found items must be surrendered to the police and cannot be retained. This includes the following items:

  • items that contain personal data eg mobile phones, laptops, cameras, ipods etc.
  • firearms, drugs, explosives, or offensive weapons
  • items believed to be used in the commission of an offence
  • official government documents

It should be noted that the police have no power in law to grant a person ownership of the item found although once the property has been returned to the finder by the police, the original owner is not usually then able to claim the goods.

What is the difference between the use of the terms ‘LOST PROPERTY’, ‘FOUND PROPERTY’ and ‘RECOVERED PROPERTY’?

‘LOST PROPERTY’ refers to an item of property that you have lost outside of your home. It does not include items of property that you have misplaced within your home. Lost property does not include property that has been stolen from you. If you believe you have been the victim of theft you must instead report it as a crime by telephoning 101.

‘FOUND PROPERTY’ refers to an item of unclaimed tangible property where an owner cannot be identified and is located outside of your home.

‘RECOVERED PROPERTY’ – refers to property that has come into police possession. The most common scenario is where items of property have been stolen and the police are now looking to identify the true owner.

Proof Of Ownership ?

When you arrange to collect your claimed item you will need to provide some proof of ownership for consideration. This can include proof of purchase (original receipt), photographs clearly showing the item, a full description including any unique markings. If you are unable to provide sufficient proof of ownership you may be unable to claim the item.

                                                                     
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