Skip to content

Action Upon Discovery of any Suspicious Delivered Item

Last Updated 04 May 2021


You could discover a suspicious item in a mail room, or anywhere else in the building - ensure you have appropriate emergency response plans in place. 

Avoid unnecessary handling and X-raying

  • if you are holding the item, put it down on a cleared flat surface 
  • keep it separate so it is easily identifiable 
  • do not move it, even to X-ray it 
  • if it is in an X-ray facility, leave it there

Move away immediately

  • clear immediate area and each adjacent room, including rooms above and below 
  • if there is any suggestion of chemical, biological or radiological materials, move those directly affected to a safe location close to the incident - keep these individuals separate from those not involved 
  • prevent others approaching or accessing the cleared areas.

Do not use mobile phones or two-way radios in the cleared area or within fifteen metres of the suspect package. Communicate regularly with staff, visitors and the public.

Notify police

  • if the item has been opened, or partially opened prior to being deemed suspicious, it is vital that this is communicated to the police 
  • ensure informants and witnesses remain available to brief the police, and that the accuracy of their observations is preserved: encourage witnesses immediately to record their observations in writing, and discourage them from discussing the incident or their observations with others prior to the arrival of the police.

Mail Screening Matters

CPNI’s “Mail Screening Matters” campaign contains a variety of useful resources to help increase awareness around postal security and complement information contained within PAS 97 Mail screening and security - Specification. This includes a poster and factsheet providing the recommended response guidance on discovery of any suspicious delivered item.

Did you find this page useful? YesNo
Thank you for your feedback. If you have any further suggestions on how this information can be made even more useful to improve your experience, feel free to share details below.
Thank you for your feedback. Sorry to hear that you haven't found this information useful. Please help us improve your experience and share how we can make this information more useful for you.