Greens on the London Assembly have called for Transport for London to become the “sole official handler of lost property” if plans to axe dozens of police stations go ahead.
City Hall is currently consulting on the closure plans, a move which would see all but one police front counter in each borough mothballed.
While the Met pledges to visit witnesses and victims of crime in their homes, the closures could make it harder to hand in lost property – one of the most common reasons for visiting a police station – and reduce the chances of Londoners being reunited with items.
To avoid this, London Assembly member Sian Berry says Mayor Sadiq Khan, who oversees both the Met and TfL, should designate the transport agency as the capital’s official lost property service.
She said: “Londoners use local police stations for much more than reporting crime – according to the police’s survey, more than one in five visits to police front counters was to collect, enquire about or drop off lost property.
“We still need this essential service and as TfL already have a dedicated helpline and system for people looking for their lost belongings it makes sense to make them responsible for lost property across London if the Met does decide to close almost all of its front counters at the end of this consultation.
“Personal items left behind on trains, cabs, the tube and transport network are already collected by TfL – my idea is to expand and make it simpler for all Londoners to get their lost belongings back.”
Responding to the proposal, Shashi Verma, TfL’s Director of Customer Experience, said: “Our lost property office provides a vital service to customers travelling on London’s transport network and last year received over 332,000 lost items.
“Any proposals to expand the service would need to be considered alongside the resources and staff needed to sort, record and reunite items with their owners.”