Bag Searching

Bad Search Guide

At times of heightened Security, particularly if anti-terrorism related, you may be required to carry out searches of bags

Searches are carried out for several reasons. Although it appears that the only reason for searching would be ‘to find a suspect device’, the other factors involved are just as important.

  • To visibly show potential thieves, that the venue may not be an easy target.

  • To limit the ways in which the venue could be attacked.

  • To help spot indicators of nervousness or suspicious behaviour.

 

Informing someone that you are going to search their personal, private possessions, requires tact, courtesy, and professionalism. Greet the person with a welcoming smile, and say ‘Good Morning/Afternoon/ Evening’. If you are in a position to open a door for the guest, you should do so.

Procedure: Pre-search

Informing someone that you are going to search their personal, private possessions, requires tact, courtesy, and professionalism. Greet the person with a welcoming smile, and say ‘Good Morning/Afternoon/ Evening’. followed by ‘We are carrying out Security checks today. Could we please ask you to open your bag/s for a brief check. (Response- Yes / Sure / Of course etc.) Thank you.’

Provided you have spoken to them clearly and politely, most people will be happy to comply.

If they refuse to show you their bags, ask them to wait for a manager to attend to speak to them. Contact you manager

If a person with a bag appears drunk, call for assistance before beginning the search.

YOUR OWN SAFETY MUST ALWAYS BE YOUR MAIN CONCERN. NEVER PUT YOURSELF IN IMMEDIATE DANGER

Search Procedure

  • If the person agrees to a bag search, they must remain present whilst the search takes place.

  • Try to carry out the search on a table, although this may not be possible with larger cases.

  • Ask the person if they can unfasten / unzip the bag themselves

  • Try to gauge reactions – if they appear nervous or hesitant, it may be worth calling for assistance

 

Once the bag is open, do not ‘dive in’ with both hands; this looks intrusive, and in the worst case scenario, could set off an explosive device.

The first thing you do is ‘look’.

Ask yourself: Do these look like genuine or regular contents? Is there something that doesn’t look quite right? Do the contents match the appearance of the person?

If you wish to move something in the bag to gain a clearer view, slowly and carefully lift or move it as you need to. Ensure the person is watching you, and that they seem willing for you to do this.

Note: The person may become embarrassed by what you find in the case. Do not comment on, or draw attention to anything you see, unless you have grounds to suspect it could be a weapon or device.

If you see something in the bag which could house a device, and it is not apparent what it is, politely ask what it is. Gauge from their answer, which should be instant and simple, as to whether there is cause for concern. For example: if you find a plastic box, which you think could contain an electric shaver, ask the guest what is in the box. The answer should be an immediate, “That’s my shaver”. If the answer is not immediate, and the guest hesitates, or seems nervous, ask if you can open the box. Hesitation could be a sign that the search needs to be very thorough. It could however, just be a sign that they are tired form a long flight.

As you search a bag, be aware that if you can smell anything unusual, it may be cause for concern. This could be a chemical smell, or even the smell of food stuffs, such as almonds or marzipan. You should attempt to find the source of the smell, and satisfy yourself that it is safe and legitimate.

The search should take as long as necessary to satisfy yourself that the bag appears safe. Do not prolong the procedure, unless you have cause for concern

Once the search is complete, ensure you leave the contents how you found them..

 

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