P.09 Unclaimed property
These procedures cover the recording, labelling, storing and disposing of unclaimed property on prison sites, including property of doubtful ownership and that of an escapee.
Unclaimed property criteria
- Unclaimed property includes property:
- that belongs to a prisoner who has been released
- where ownership is in doubt
- of an escapee.
P.09.01 Recording unclaimed property
- If the item has been found on site and ownership is in doubt, the item must be referred to the property officer.
- The property officer must maintain a register of unclaimed property. (IOMS Property Register)
- If the item is to be attributed as unclaimed, the following additional information should be entered on the property register:
- a full description of the unclaimed property items
- date found
- name of finder
- location found, and
- efforts made to find the owner.
- Prison staff must make reasonable enquiries to identify the owner, including a check of the property record.
- Property found that clearly belongs to an individual prisoner at the prison is:
- returned to that prisoner, or
- withdrawn from issue and then removed from site.
- Property found which clearly belongs to an individual prisoner who has been transferred to another prison is referred to the prison to which the prisoner has been transferred.
P.09.02 Labelling and storing unclaimed property
- Property remaining unclaimed five days after its receipt is officially deemed unclaimed.
- The property officer must attach a manual label indicating the date it is deemed as unclaimed.
- The unclaimed property is securely stored apart from other property in designated unclaimed property containers.
P.09.03 Disposal of unclaimed prisoner property
- If a former prisoner of a prison leaves any property in the prison, the unit PCO must take all reasonable steps to notify the former prisoner in writing that he or she must collect it from the prison.
- If the former prisoner cannot be contacted after all reasonable steps to notify them of the property, it will be forfeit to the Crown after three months from the date the property was deemed to be unclaimed.
- Where the released prisoner has been contacted but has not collected the item within three months of being notified the property will be forfeit to the Crown.