Police (Property) Act, 1897

Regulations with respect to unclaimed property in possession of police.

2.(1) A Secretary of State may make regulations for the disposal of property which has come into the possession of the police under the circumstances mentioned in this Act in cases where the owner of the property has not been ascertained and no order of a competent court has been made with respect thereto.

(2) The regulations may authorise the sale of any such property, and the application of the proceeds of any such sale, and the application of any money of which the owner cannot be ascertained, to all or any of the following purposes:—

(a) the expenses of executing the regulations;

(b) the payment of reasonable compensation to any person by whom the property has been delivered into the possession of the police;

(c) the making of payments for the benefit of discharged prisoners or of persons dependent on prisoners or discharged prisoners; or

(d) such other purposes as the Secretary of State may consider expedient.

(3) Where the property is a perishable article or its custody involves unreasonable expense or inconvenience it may be sold at any time, but the proceeds of sale shall not be disposed of until they have remained in the possession of the police for a year. In any other case the property shall not be sold until it has remained in the possession of the police for a year.

(4) The regulations may also provide for the investment of money and for the audit of accounts.

(5) The regulations shall apply whether the property to which they relate has come into the possession of the police before or after. . . . . the making of the regulations.

(6) The regulations shall be laid before Parliament as soon as may be after they are made.