Scottish police list 'unusual' items of lost property

Garden gnome
Image caption Garden gnomes were among some of the items handed in to police

A stuffed otter was one of the more unusual items of lost property handed in to Scottish police, it has emerged.

False teeth and a fully-dressed male mannequin were also among the items handed in to police stations.

A freedom of information (FOI) request revealed that 199,123 items of lost property had been handed in by members of the public over the past two years.

The most common items for all the force areas included purses and wallets, keys, mobile phones and jewellery.

Other "unusual" items included a towelling bath robe, a telescope, a microwave oven, garden gnomes, and a garden bench.

Tayside Police said 1,816 animals had been taken to police stations, making it the seventh most common item to be handed into the force. Tayside also recorded that 3,937 sets of keys were dealt with.

Of the more uncommon items, Northern Constabulary noted that it had received a canoe, false teeth, a stuffed otter and a walking frame.

Hearing aids, mobility scooters and wheelbarrows were all on Fife Constabulary's list of "unusual items".

Dumfries and Galloway Police had a telescope and a towelling bath robe handed in.

Garden bench

Lothian and Borders Police received 51,354 items since August 2009, including a B&Q trolley, a garden bench and a kayak.

The mannequin was handed in to Strathclyde Police, along with a further 35,848 items, including nearly 11,000 items of clothing and more than 6,000 purses, wallets or bags.

Grampian Police recorded a total of 40,160 items, the third largest number of the eight police forces, while Central Scotland said it had received just 1,790, making it the area with the least amount of lost property. Its unusual items included walking sticks and wheelchairs.

Almost a quarter (8,823) of items found in Scotland's largest force of Strathclyde were successfully returned to their owners.

Each of the forces lost property is kept for a maximum of three months - two months to be claimed by the owner before one month is allowed for the finder to lay a claim on the item.

Following that, items are either destroyed, recycled, donated to charity or sold at auction.

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

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