Cumbria Police: 'Find lost property owner yourself'
Cumbria Police will no longer take in lost property unless it is suspected of having been stolen or used in a crime.
There is "confusion" over who is responsible but people should try to find the owner themselves, police say.
Police staff should focus on their "core function" of investigating crime and protecting the public, Sgt Garry Armstrong said.
It is a "legal requirement" that people "take reasonable steps to trace the owners", he added.
The management of shops or other premises will be responsible for attempts to find the owner of objects found in them, the force says.
Items such as driving licences, passports and bank cards should be reported to the organisation which issued them.
"We were wasting time and resources by recording all this information," Sgt Armstrong said.
"What we actually found was a very small percentage of items actually reported are being recovered and returned to owners."
People who find property that they believe to have been stolen or used in a crime should still report it to police.