It Should Just Be Called The “Lost” Department

Just a really quick one today.

I just finished reading Thunderstruck by Erik Larson (the author of the AMAZING book Devil in the White CityThunderstruck wasn't nearly as engaging, in my opinion, but go out and buy DitWC NOOOOOW).

Anyway, Larson reports in his book that in the late 1890s (he doesn't give a specific date), the London police moved headquarters. They left a couple of smaller departments at their old address at Great Scotland Yard, though. One of these lesser departments was the Lost & Found, which, by this time, had accumulated 14,212 lost umbrellas. (55)

Guys, no wonder you needed to move to a bigger place. How can you solve crime when your offices have become a lost umbrella emporium? Also, once you hit the 1,000 mark, it's time to start tossing some of them. Clearly ain't nobody comin' to collect.

I said as much to Boyfriend (who is English, where I am American) and he thought my idea was the height of rudeness. It's apparently thoroughly un-English to throw away someone else's TOTALLY ABANDONED FOREVER possessions, and it is less stressful to move than it is to breach etiquette.

Thoughts? Apart from the fact that I am pretty much dating John Cleese's character from A Fish Called Wanda? Is there, or was there, a statute of limitations on a lost item before the police were allowed to throw it away? I know that in the States evidence can only ever be put into storage and must never be thrown away, but what about lost items? What is police procedure when it comes to this kind of thing?

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2 Responses to It Should Just Be Called The “Lost” Department

  1. Anonymous says:

    no, you’re right about this

    Their/your boyfriend’s position is charming, but insane.

    I’d vote for a version of the unclaimed luggage stores we have in the States. (haven’t been to one, but I will. they sound like heaven — spying on strangers plus bargains) I would totally go to Scotland Yard’s Lost & Found Shop for cheap umbrellas and whatever else piled up.

    (you might get two versions of this comment — the one I just tried to post seemed to vanish into the ether)


  2. Anonymous says:

    Lost /abandoned property

    Get said John Cleese alike to sort his ” lost property ” when he comes home, I knew ther was a reason I couldn’t do it 😉


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