If you were offered a £260 mountain bike, a £248 Gucci bag or a £216 DKNY purse for just £1 a piece, you would be right to inform the police.

But who do you call if it’s the police selling them?

That’s the case on the Bumblebee Auctions website, where unwanted police equipment and lost and stolen property is put up for sale.

Items are sold in an eBay-style auction, with the money raised going to charities local to the force.

As well as common finds such as mountain bikes and jewellery there are more unusual items such as protest crash barriers and industrial fog machines. The site’s top sale was a BMW 330i Clubsport Coupe, which went for £13,269.

Currently being sold by Sussex Police are a range of designer handbags, a set of golf clubs, industrial tubs of alcohol hand disinfectant, printer cartridges and a number of bicycles.

With a bit of research and good timing it is easy to secure a few bargains.

On sale for just £1 from Sussex Police is a 2in Advent flatscreen TV, a Flymo petrol lawnmower, a Burberry purse, an Apollo Abyss mountain bike and an industrial-sized tub of alcoholic hand sanitizer – the sell-by date of which passed some 18 months ago.

The site goes back to 1997, when Surrey and the Metropolitan Police mounted a display of lost and stolen property at Epsom Racecourse.

Following its success, police chiefs came up with the concept of Bumblebee Auctions.

Over the years, more and more forces have joined the scheme, with hundreds of items now on sale at any one time.

Officers only put items up for auction after they have exhausted all avenues of returning them to their owners.

Among the items available from other forces are a set of James Blunt CDs, Paco Rabanne perfume, a wedding ring, a self tanning kit and Ann Summers underwear.

All money raised goes into the national Police Property Act Fund, which is then donated to charities across the UK.

To start searching for bargains go to www.bumblebeeauctions.co.uk .