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Specific regulation applicable
The two main statutes relating to lost items in the UK are the Torts (Interference with Goods) Act 1977 and the Theft Act 1968.
What does it say?
The first main legal obligation which the Finder has to the Loser of lost property under English common law is the duty to take care of the lost property and keep it safe and undamaged.
The second main legal obligation which the Finder has to the Loser is to use reasonable efforts to find or trace the Loser. The Finder must, therefore, take reasonable steps to attempt to identify and contact the Loser of the lost property.
In the event that a Finder acts dishonestly or fraudulently, the Finder may be guilty of the crime of theft. Under section 1 of the 1968 Act, it is stated that “a person is guilty of theft if he dishonestly appropriates property belonging to another with the intention of permanently depriving the other of it”.
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