Suffolk police urge good citizens to seek losers of lost property themselves

Therese Coffey, Suffolk Coastal MP

Therese Coffey, Suffolk Coastal MP - Credit: Archant

An MP has been left fuming after a constituent was told she would have to travel from Felixstowe to Ipswich if she wanted to hand in lost property to the police.

Therese Coffey claimed she was previously given assurances that a process would be established so people could still take lost property to their local police station – even though the buildings, except for those in Ipswich, Lowestoft and Bury St Edmunds, have now been closed to the public.

Suffolk Constabulary, which does not have a legal obligation to deal with lost property, which costs the force a “significant amount” of money to deal with each year, has a new system encouraging people to return property via other agencies.

Suffolk Coastal MP Dr Coffey said: “It seems ridiculous to me that a Felixstowe resident is being asked to travel to Ipswich just to hand in some lost property and whoever’s lost property it is having to make the same journey to pick it up.

“I was previously given assurances that a proper process would be put in place to stop this happening and I’m determined to see it implemented.”

She has written to the Chief Constable on the matter.

A police spokeswoman said at present certain types of lost and found property would still be accepted at Ipswich, Bury and Lowestoft front counters, but people were encouraged to consider whether items should be returned to an alternative agency.

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For example, driving licences should be sent to the DVLA and bank cards should be returned to banks. People not living near one of the three police stations open to the public and unsure about what to do with an item of found property could call 101 for advice.

From autumn, police will accept found property if it is believed to be related to a crime or poses a direct threat to the public.