PEOPLE in Somerset could soon be reunited with their lost items thanks to a new internet service from the police.

Avon and Somerset Police have created the website so people can record their lost property directly, without having to contact the constabulary. enables people to upload detailed descriptions and photographs of lost items.

It aims to help the police match up lost property using a simple search engine whether they have serial numbers or not.

The constabulary currently receives around 42,000 reports of lost property a year, which is estimated to take about 1,000 staff days to process.

Ast Ch Con Jackie Roberts, who is launching the scheme, said: "We are leading the way in using new technology to improve the lost property process for both the public and police.

"It should have an instant impact in freeing up police time to deal with other important issues that are being identified through our Safer, Stronger Neighbourhoods work."

The insurance industry also backs the new scheme, which will produce a unique serial number in each case acceptable for insurance claims.

The scheme is expected to cut down on false insurance claims as it provides a facility to monitor multiple entries.

Other police forces across the country are watching the scheme with a view to rolling it out nationwide and creating the first national register of lost property.