New rule rewards finders of lost property

Updated: 2015-10-14 06:43


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People handing in lost property they find in Guangzhou, the capital of Guangdong province, are being awarded 10 percent of its value under a landmark new regulation enacted by the city.

If items are reclaimed by their owners, the rule encourages the owners to give the finders the same percentage reward.

Items that are found and not claimed within six months will be auctioned and the remainder of the income from public auctions will go to the national Treasury.

The rule, passed at the city government's weekly work conference, took effect on Monday.

Luo Zhenhui, deputy director of the city's Public Security Bureau, said the rule is expected to encourage more people to hand in items they find so that government departments can locate the owners.

"The value of the items found will be assessed and calculated by qualified third party companies and agencies," Luo told a news briefing after the rule was passed-three years after it was drafted.

In recent years, the Guangzhou lost-and-found office has received on average more than 1,000 lost property items-mostly briefcases, cameras and jewelry-annually with a total value of about 100,000 yuan ($15,748), Luo said.

The office, which was set up in 1958, is now located in Luo's bureau.

Zhang Yiri, an associate professor at Guangzhou City Polytechnic, said awarding 10 percent of an item's value to the finder will encourage more people to hand in lost property and help to improve social morals and customs.

Zhang said that as far as he knew, such a practice operates in some Western countries and regions.

Chen Wanglin, a Guangzhou office employee, hailed the new rule, saying that the actions of people who hand in lost property should be commended and followed by others.

But Huang Chunxing, a housewife in Guangzhou's Tianhe district, said, "We should encourage more residents to return the property they find, but we should not encourage them to seek material rewards."


・In Germany, people who hand in lost property worth less than 1,000 euros ($,1,137) are awarded 5 percent of the value, while those who return lost pets receive 3 percent of the pets' value.

・ In Japan, awards for those handing in lost property range between 5 percent and 20 percent of the value.

・ In the UAE, the reward for those returning property is 10 percent.