32,000 items handed into lost and found at Scottish police station


TENTS, ski-poles and medical insulin pens are just some of the mislaid possessions cluttering a police lost and found department.

Lothian and Borders police force recorded 32,000 misplaced items which were handed in by the public over 2012.

More obvious items such as passports, bank cards and jewellery have consistently made their way into the force’s lost property boxes.

Golf clubs, ski poles, binoculars, skateboards and even tents were also handed over to police by members of the public.


But unusual goods such as car parcel shelves, motorcycle helmets and skateboards have also been handed in to local stations.

According to police bosses the items tend to be retrieved from public places such as bus stops or sports centres.

Golf clubs, ski poles, binoculars, skateboards and even tents were also handed over to police by members of the public.

But more harmful items such as empty gas canisters, knives and alcohol are still waiting to be returned to their rightful owners.

In Edinburgh alone 25,939 items including hi-tech DVD systems, TVs, games consoles and iPods were handed over for reclamation.

Lower-value items, such as umbrellas, often received from shopping centres and leisure facilities have not been formally lodged and are not included within the figures.

In East Lothian and Midlothian careless civilians managed to lose 3003 items while 3142 items of lost property were handed in to West Lothian police stations.

Last year it was revelled other Scottish forces had a range of bizarre objects handed in.

These included a bath robe, a telescope, a microwave oven, garden gnomes, a garden bench, a canoe, false teeth and a stuffed otter.

Items that are handed in to the authorities are then formally logged and stored by a station custodier – the officer in charge of the Lost Property Section.

Under law any artefact is held by the custodier for two months to allow owners to reclaim their goods.

If no claim is made or if the owner cannot be traced it may then be a case of “finders keepers” as the person who then handed it over can claim possession.

They then have a further month to collect it before it is destroyed, recycled or sent to auction.

But personal documents like passports, bank cards and driving licences are returned to the issuing companies.

A Lothian and Borders Police spokesman said: “Lothian and Borders Police has a wide range of different lost property items and each one is meticulously classified and recorded once we take possession of them.

“The force then undertakes every effort to trace and contact the rightful owner and reunite them with their items.”