A website which can help victims of burglary to be reunited with their stolen belongings has been launched by Herts Police.
The brainchild of the county’s police and crime commissioner David Lloyd, the HertsReunited site can match people with property which has been lost or stolen using pictures of recovered items, as well as report missing items.
The Police and Crime Commissioner, David Lloyd, said: “I asked for HertsReunited to be created in order to make it possible for people in Hertfordshire to find their lost or stolen property much more easily.
“If someone has had something stolen – or they want to report a lost possession or something they have found – then this website is a one-stop-shop to help reunite them with their property.
“Although crime is low in the county, being the victim of a burglary, robbery or theft – or even just losing a valued possession by mistake – can be a very distressing experience.”
The county constabulary – which currently has 613 found items – usually takes temporary possession of property suspected to have been stolen, but the true owners are not always found.
Now, these items will be advertised on the website for around 30 days or an appropriate period until the rightful owners are identified.
Inspector Jeff Scott said: “The HertsReunited website increases our opportunity to reunite people with missing and stolen property with both descriptive information and images of the items.
“As well as the facility for the public to report and claim lost and found property, our keen interest is in identifying the rightful owners of property that the police have seized and that we suspect is stolen. This will help ensure that offenders are brought to justice for their crimes.”
Currently, items recovered by police for which no owner is found are dealt with in a variety of ways. Often, unclaimed items are disposed of, but each case is taken on its own merits and occasionally finders of lost items will be able to keep them if the owner is not located.
Alternatively, some property is disposed of through auction with funds used to support crime reduction, and bikes are sometimes donated to charitable projects for refurbishment.
Inspector Scott added: “Strenuous effort is made by the police to reunite property with the owner. For example, a camera was handed into police with no identification of its owner.
“Examination of photographs on it revealed a picture of a dog which was expanded and police were able to read the address tag on the dog collar and the owner “However, some items prove impossible to identify the owners but we know that they could have sentimental, as well as monetary, value. HertsReunited gives us a much better chance to get property back to their rightful owners.”
For more about the site or to find or report lost and stolen property, visit www.hertsreunited.co.uk.