Can police take things during a search that don’t belong to me?
Question & AnswerCan police take things during a search that don’t belong to me?
2. Call the police and ask them for your property
If your property is being used as of a crime, you may not get it back. If the police charged you with a criminal when they took your property, the item is likely being used as evidence. Your property will not be returned to you until the courts have dealt with the criminal matter. Depending on how the criminal matter is resolved, you may never be entitled to have your property back.
If you were legally entitled to have the property and you haven't been charged with an offence, the police usually return your property within 3 months. If this doesn't happen, contact the police and ask them to return your property.
In some circumstances, a justice of the peace will make an order that allows the police to keep your property for longer than 3 months. If that happens and you would like your property back sooner, you can ask a lawyer to make an application to the court to have your property returned. But this can take a lot of time and be expensive. Usually, this type of application is only made when a major item, such as your car, has been seized and you need it back.
If the police refuse to return property that isn't being used as evidence, you can make a complaint to the Office of the Independent Police Review Director (OIPRD).