Festivals, music venues, public transport and visitor attractions – everywhere you look, the scale of London’s lost property issue is astounding.
According to a report in the Sunday Express, adult Londoners lose roughly 1 item per week.
A staggering 3000 items lost over an average lifetime.
How are the authorities responding?
1st October 2018 marked the date whereby the Met Police (and other police departments across the UK), announced they will no longer be taking reports for lost items. Effectively, scrubbing their hands from dealing with lost property in London.
Although it is understandable that more pressing criminal activity is a priority for police resources, shifts like this do create a further void in London’s lost property sector. So with the authorities now taking a back seat, it’s seemingly up to hotels and other tourist attractions to take reasonable steps to return lost possessions found on their premises. Naturally, presenting further questions involving disposal, recycling and generally being eco conscious about lost property.
What industries does this affect?
Lost property facts and statistics are somewhat scarce for attractions and venues. Reports are rarely published giving figures on the scale of a businesses’ lost property intake. However, Transport for London do provide insight into their findings. This gives us a handle on what the issue is like in the capitals public transport sector. The recently published TFL report outlining lost property statistics brought forward some alarming figures. Collected by London’s Baker Street depot, the largest lost property office in Europe, they stated they’re currently receiving over 1200 items a day. A day!
Of the estimated 438,000 annual items collected by TFL only 21.7% are reclaimed by their owners. Adding further concern to the sheer amount of items, is the claim TFL’s system is currently costing the company about “£100 per item to return it to its owner” according to the manager of the lost property office, Paul Cowan.
The report shows that the transport sector is indeed dealing with an astonishing influx, and growing year on year in the capital.
What’s the solution?
Troubling as it may seem, London is a big, busy city. The footfall of London’s transport is extensive enough to justify the large figures presented. London’s other sectors however; hospitality, shopping centres, universities, venues and attractions are now having to fend for themselves (so to speak). Thankfully, these industries are discovering that there is a solution. Technology-based lost property systems built to withstand high footfall attractions are now a viable option for all busy sectors. Software solutions like NotLost can save a company substantial amounts of time and resources, enabling businesses to cope with the increasing volumes of lost items.
Positive headway is being made with popular attractions like The O2 arena, the Old Royal Naval College and the SSE Arena Wembley taking matters into their own hands. These venues have indeed implemented ‘NotLost’ lost property management software to; optimise their process, save on personnel costs and reconnect more seekers with lost items. Will cloud based lost property solutions like ‘NotLost’ be a step in the right direction for London’s attractions? We certainly hope so!
If you found this post informative or you yourself are a business that handles lost property, you can request a demo for NotLost software or keep up to date with all the latest news.