Q&A How can we get back valuables taken by police when my son was arrested?

Q:      My son is in prison. When he was arrested, he had his belongings taken off him at the police station and they have never been returned. They included a very expensive watch and some other valuables. He has asked the prison officers about getting his things back, but they said because the police have not sent them anything it was nothing to do with them and he would have to make enquiries with the police. How should he proceed with this?

A:       Your son should have been given a copy of the property record when the items were taken off him at the time of his arrest. He needs to send this to the police station where he was detained, together with a letter asking them whether they still hold his property and if so, for what purpose. If they are holding the items as part of an on-going criminal investigation it is unlikely that they will return them to your son, at least until the case is concluded.

If on the other hand it should transpire that the police no longer have your son’s possessions and they have somehow been misplaced, your son may be able to claim compensation. In the first instance, however, it may be worthwhile him speaking to the criminal lawyers who represented him when he was arrested and charged, as they may have information about whether the possessions were taken in the course of the police investigations against him.

Depending on the value of the items, any claim would probably be dealt with as a small claim through the County Court. A civil claims lawyer could assist with this, but your son should be aware that legal aid is no longer available for helping people retrieve their property from the police.

This question has been answered by Mark Latham-White, a, Accredited Police Station Representative with GHP Legal.  If you would like to speak to someone about this or any other legal matter it is still possible, and we are doing everything we can to ensure that we continue to offer our high levels of service to our clients.  In accordance with government guidelines, some of our lawyers are currently working remotely which means you may not now receive a response as promptly as you may expect. Please kindly bear with us and we will respond as soon as we are able.

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Mark Latham White

Mark Latham-White

Accredited Police Station Representative

Part of our Criminal Law team in Wrexham