HC Deb 28 March 1995 vol 257 c548W
Ms Hodge

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what requirement there is for the police to return property to a defendant where that property is held as possible evidence. [16101]

Mr. Maclean

Code of practice B issued under the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 provides that anything lawfully seized by a police officer may be retained only for as long as is necessary in the circumstances. It may be retained, among other purposes, for use as evidence at a trial. Property must not be retained where a photograph or copy of the item would suffice.

A person seeking return of property seized by the police may make application to a magistrates' court under the Police (Property) Act 1897 for its possession.