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This policy was formally approved by Doncaster and South Humber Healthcare NHS Trust Date:……………………………….. Signed……………………………… Chief Executive

Issue No: ……………………………



POLICY STATEMENT This policy and procedure should be read in conjunction with the trust Security and Fire Policies and Procedures. The receipt or setting of explosive or other potential dangerous devices (bomb threats) is a potential hazard in all premises. The consequence of an incident within the trust could be potentially serious. The aim at all times must be to ensure that effective procedures are in the place and are clearly understood to ensure, so far as it is reasonably practical, the safety of patients, the general public and staff. All staff within the Trust have a legal responsibility to observe the Bomb Threat Policy and procedure at all times. It is imperative that all staff understand what to do in the event of a bomb threat to ensure the safety of their colleagues, patients, the general public and themselves.


RESPONSIBILITIES FOR BOMB THREATS PRECAUTIONS The Chief Executive, Doncaster & South Humber NHS Trust, has overall responsibility for managing all bomb threat situations throughout the Trust. To assist the Chief Executive, the responsibility for the supervision of day to day precautions and the co-ordination of staff action in a bomb threat emergency is delegated to the Senior Manager of each Trust premises, or in his/her absence, a Nominated Deputy.


SENIOR MANAGER/NOMINATED DEPUTY The Senior Manager, or in his/her absence, the Nominated Deputy, is responsible for the: • • • • • Implementation of the procedures and precautions when dealing with bomb threats. Ensuring that all staff receive the necessary training and clearly understand the procedures for bomb threat. Co-ordinating and directing patients, the general public and staff in the event of a bomb threat. Reporting all bomb threat incidents to the Chief Executive and police. Completing IR1 form and forward to the Trust Risk officer. 2


STAFF Staff have responsibility: • • • • To know what to do in the event of a bomb threat and take appropriate action. To know what to do if a suspicious package/letter is discovered and take appropriate action. To participate in bomb alert training and evacuation. Never compromise the security of the building in any way (ie leaving doors insecure).





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3 3 4 4 5 5 5 5 6 6 6 6 6 7 7 8 8 10 11 11 11 12


SEARCH 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 3.7 3.8 3.9 Police Policy Search Plan Search Sectors Search teams Initiating the Search Search Priorities What they are looking for How to search Use of Radios


A SUSPICIOUS OBJECT IS FOUND (PACKAGE/LETTER) 4.1 Signs and Symptoms of Suspicious Package


EVACUATION 5.2 Evacuation Plans

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INSTRUCTION TO STAFF IN THE EVENT OF A BOMB THREAT ALERT these instructions set out the procedure to be adopted in the event of a bomb threat becoming apparent at the: [LOCATION] [BOMB ASSEMBLY POINT] All actions resulting from a bomb threat will be co-ordinated by the Bleep Holder or Nominated Deputies. NAME Senior Manager Nominated Deputies TELEPHONE


DEALING WITH TELEPHONE WARNINGS Terrorists frequently (but not always) give telephone warnings of bomb explosions. So unfortunately, do hoaxers whose threats are empty. You may receive a warning that your own premises are at risk. In such cases you will have to decide how to respond. In particular you will have to decide whether to evacuate your premises. In all cases, whether or not you consider the threat to be credible, you should: • • • Telephone the Police immediately Search the premises Consider whether to evacuate the premises

Very often, terrorists issue telephone warnings to organisations, which would not themselves, be affected by the explosion, which they are warning about. In these circumstances your response is just as important because the safety of others may depend upon it. In all cases it is important to telephone the Police immediately with details of the call. Responding to warning calls often involves making difficult decisions. What is often overlooked, however, is how important and yet how difficult it is to obtain the


maximum amount of useful information from the call. designed to help in this. a) Who to Inform

The following advice is

The switchboard operators most frequently have to deal with telephone bomb warnings but any member of staff who has a direct line might also receive a threat. All should therefore know what to do if they receive a threatening call. The four key rules are: • • • • 2.2 Keep calm Try to obtain as much information as possible from the call Make a note of the details on the caller display or use the ‘1471’ facility if available Report the call to the Senior Manager/Nominated Deputy

Obtain Information The caller may ring off immediately after giving the message, but whoever takes the call should nevertheless try to get a response to the following questions and write down the answers. § § § § Where is the bomb? What time will it go off? What does it look like? Why are you doing it?

The person receiving the call should also try and assess the following: § The caller Is it a man, woman or child? § The speech Is it intoxicated, rambling or irrational? Has it a distinctive accent? Was the caller laughing? Did the caller have a speech impediment? § Distraction Is the call from a public call box or private phone? Is there background noise, such as a train, aeroplane, traffic or possibly conversations, music, that may indicate a pubic house of other place of entertainment? In order to help with this task, the form (in Appendix A) sets out the points mentioned above. It should be displayed prominently at the switchboard and issued to all members of staff who have direct lines. 4

If at all possible, the person receiving such a call should signal to a colleague to contact the exchange supervisor on a different line so that an attempt may be made to trace the origin of the call. Another person listening on the line may help to remember important facts afterwards. Make a note of the details shown on the caller display or use the ‘1471’ facility afterwards if this service is available. 3 SEARCH searches may be undertaken as a matter of routine or in response to a specific warning. It is not always necessary to evacuate the premises before carrying out a search. For advice on evacuation see Section 5. 3.1 Police Policy It is helpful for you to know and understand Police Policy on ‘Search and Evacuation’ and the Police role in dealing with bomb threats. Normally, the Police will not themselves search a building following receipt of a bomb threat. This is for two good reasons. Firstly, Police are unlikely to know the layout of the premises and the various places in which a device could be concealed. You and your staff should know and should be able to search more quickly and more thoroughly. Secondly, the Police, unlike your staff, will not know what should be there. Consequently they will not so easily be able to spot anything which is out of place. 3.2 Search Plan It is vital to have search plans prepared in advance and staff made aware of them. The objectives are to make sure that the whole building is checked as quickly and effectively as possible. The Senior Manager/Nominated Deputy must ensure that the search plans are readily available at all times. Estates Department drawings, appropriately adapted, are suitable for this purpose. Sufficient spare copies should be available for use during search operations. Searchers and Senior Manager/Nominated Deputy can then eliminate sections from the plan as they are cleared.



Search Sectors The first step in preparing a search plan is to divide the building into sectors. Your building may already be segregated into departments and therefore it may be convenient for you to make these the sectors. Each sector must be of manageable size for one or two searched. Remember that effective and systematic searching takes time. Depending on room sizes, the sector may be one large room, such as a Ward/Department or perhaps a number of small offices in an office suite. It is most important that cloakrooms, stairs, corridors and lifts are included in your search plans. Do not forget to include car parks and other areas outside the building.


Search Teams Search Teams should be formed from staff nominated to search those areas with which they are most familiar. Numbers required will depend upon the size of the search task.


Initiating the Search The Senior Manager/Nominated Deputy initiates the search by contacting the Search Teams by telephone or personal contact.


Search Priorities Those areas which will be used as evacuation assembly areas, together with those areas where the greatest number of the public or staff are likely to be vulnerable, should be searched first. Consider also, as a priority, those public areas to which the terrorist may have had easy access. Do not overlook car parks, the outside area and perimeter.


What they are looking for It is difficult to offer guidance to Search Teams about the appearance of bombs as they can be disguised in many ways. What the Search Teams are looking for is an unidentified object. § § § That should not be there That cannot be accounted for This is out of place



How to Search Although the way in which the teams conduct their searches will depend, to some extent, upon local circumstances and their local knowledge, they should conduct it in a logical and thorough manner so that no part of their sector is left unchecked. With this in mind you may consider adopting the method outlined in this typical example of a Room: Search in a sector. 3.8.1 A search should begin at the entrance to the room. Each searcher or team should first stand still and look around the room. They should note the contents of the room and make a quick assessment of those areas, which will need special attention. They should look for any unusual lights (including small light sources known as LED’s which are often used in terrorist bombs). They should also listen carefully for any unusual noises, particularly ticking or whirring sounds. If anything unusual is seen, the searcher or team should alter the Senior Manager/Nominated Deputy who will decide whether to evacuate the building. If nothing unusual is seen, the search should begin. The search should be conducted methodically, moving in one direction around the area to be searched. It should be carried out in three sweeps: • The first sweep is to work around the edges of the room, taking in the walls from top to bottom and the floor area immediately beneath the wall. Look inside fireplaces, behind curtains and pelmets, behind and beside furniture around the edges of the room. The sweep should finish at the doorway where it began. The second sweep should take in the furniture and the floor. Furniture should not be moved but drawers should be opened and searched and gaps in and under furniture should be explored. If the floor covering shows signs of recent disturbance, it should be lifted. The first sweep should cover the ceiling, if so of a kind in which objects might be concealed. Start at one corner and systematically search the whole surface.


3.8.3 3.8.4




After the search has been completed and if nothing has been found, the Co-ordinator, Senior Manager, Senior Police personnel and Senior Bomb Disposal Officer should be informed immediately so that the sector can be marked ‘clear’ on the search plans. Searching should continue until the whole area has been cleared. Secondary devices are not unknown.




Use of Radios Until a suspect object is found the use of hand-held communications is often the only way of ensuring appropriate and speedy lifesaving procedures for search and evacuation. Once a suspect device has been located those using hand-held communications should immediately move away and ensure that they and anyone else in the area move outside the cordon as quickly as possible. Radios should not be used to transmit within 25 metres of a suspect device.


A SUSPICIOUS OBJECT IS FOUND (PACKAGE/LETTER) Follow the golden rule: • • • • • • DO NOT TOUCH OR MOVE If possible leave a distinctive marker near (not touching) the device. Move away from the device to a designated control point, leaving lights on. Inform Search Team leader/Senior Manager/Nominated Deput y. The Senior Manager/Nominated Deputy should implement the Evacuation Plan (see point 3). Stay at the control point and draw an accurate plan of the location of the suspicious package or device.

The person finding the object should be immediately available for interview by the Police. 4.1 Signs and Symptoms of Suspicious Packages There are a number of signs that may lead you to become suspicious of a letter or parcel. By themselves these signs may be innocent, but perhaps a combination of a few will need a cautious approach. If you have access to equipment then use it to support or ally your fears. A simple memoric to remember is the 7S’s SIZE Is the letter big enough to house a device without being obvious, eg Jiffy-bags, videotapes, etc. Is the letter not uniform, eg denoting possibility of batteries or switch system. Do you recognise who sent it from the postmark, label or typeface? Do they match? Can you check with the recipient? Are there no stamps or is it over-stamped? Is the postmark blurred, smudged or missing altogether? Has the letter been sealed more securely, denoting it is 8




containing something that must not fall out, use of tape, staples, etc. STAIN Is there an oily stain showing through the envelope or oily fingerprints on the outside? Some explosives weep/sweat small amounts of liquid that will produce stains. Explosives can smell, particularly the Nitro- glycerine and Nitro-toluene’s. A strange smell such as almonds or marzipan should therefore be treated with suspicion. Equally an overpowering smell, say of perfume, could be used to cover up or disguise other smells.



EVACUATION If a suspicious vehicle or object is found in the vicinity of your premises, or if you should receive a telephone warning of a terrorist attack, it will be necessary to decide whether to evacuate the premises. The purpose of the evacuation is to move people, from an area where they might be at risk, to a place of safety. This may be achieved by: • • Partial evacuation (where large premises are involved and only a suspect letter, bomb or small device is found). Full evacuation.

In all cases where a bomb threat is received, the Senior manager/Nominated Deputy should immediately inform the Police and advise them of what action is being taken. 5.1 Making a decision whether to evacuate The decision to evacuate must normally be taken by the Senior Manager /Nominated Deputy but the Police will be ready to advise on request. In exceptional circumstances, where for example the Police have received specific information, they may themselves order an evacuation, if necessary overruling the decision of the Senior Manager/Nominated Deputy. However, they will always seek help from the Senior Manager/Nominated Deputy. On the other hand, it may be necessary for the Police in some circumstances to insist that the premises are not evacuated. They may, for example, have reason to believe that there may be an explosive device outside the building and evacuation would place people at greater risk.


There are four actions open to the Senior Manager/Nominated Deputy, which one is chosen depend upon his/her assessment of the threat, which the situation presents. The choices are: 5.1.1 Option 1 – Do nothing This option may appear attractive if the threat appears to come from a drunk or a child, but it should not be adopted unless the Senior Manager/Nominated Deputy, is absolutely sure that it is a malicious call or prank. If there is a slightest doubt, the Senior Manager/Nominated Deputy, must turn to one of the other options. 5.1.2 Option 2 – Search and then evacuate if necessary This choice means, of course, that people will be in the building for a longer period if there is a bomb present. However, if a bomb is found, they can be evacuated away from danger/ If nothing is found and there are no other significant factors, the Senior Manager/Nominated Deputy may then decide to declare the building safe. The Senior Manager/ Nominated Deputy may consider this option appropriate if assessing the threat level is low. 5.1.3 Option 3 – Search and partial evacuation When the threat level is considered to be moderate, but there is no reason to believe an explosion may be imminent, or if the suspect device is small (eg a letter bomb) and parts of the premises may be some considerable distance from the device, the Senior Manager /Nominated Deputy might consider evacuating part of the premises. 5.1.4 Option 4 – Evacuate immediately If a call is received which the Senior Manager/Nominated Deputy considers to indicate the existence of a high risk, there will be case for evacuating as quickly as possible without conducting a search, especially where there is a possibility of an imminent explosion. When the time of explosion has been disclosed in a threat call, then the Senior Manager/Nominated Deputy must ensure that any searches are finished and staff cleared at least 20 minutes before the deadline, irrespective of whether any device has been found or not.



Evacuation Plans The Senior Manager/Nominated Deputy should have a drawing of the building showing evacuation routes. This is especially necessary when there are a number of exits from the building. The purpose is twofold: • • To evacuate as quickly and efficiently as possible using all available exists. To provide alternative routes for evacuation so that people can leave the building without being placed in danger by passing close to the suspect device.

In drawing up evacuation you should consult neighbouring premises, the Police and the emergency services. The evacuation plan should also show two designated assembly areas in opposite directions where people should congregate after evacuation. Sometimes, Fire Assembly Points can be utilised for this purpose, as long as they are located at a minimum of 400 metres from any building. In some circumstances, assembly areas may need to be up to 1000 metres away from any building. Police advice should be sought as to whether this is necessary. Ideally, all employees/members of the public should be asked to take personal belongings with them, since this will help to avoid unnecessary suspicion over articles of property left behind after evacuation. However, this is contrary to standing instructions for fire evacuation and will be difficult to implement. Staff who have been evacuated may have to remain outside for a long time before the building is declared safe, so it is best if shelter can be provided under cover. You might, perhaps, consider whether it is possible to seek accommodation by arrangement in alternative premises. This provides the opportunity to shelter from weather, maintain good communication and cater for individual needs. Evacuation assembly areas should be included in the search plans and checked whenever search procedures are initiated or an immediate evacuation is ordered. When an evacuation is initiated, doors and windows should, whenever possible, be left unlocked, especially in the vicinity of a suspect object. Lights should be left on, but plant machinery shut down where practicable. A method must be devised to check that everyone has left the building after the evacuation, and that all personnel, staff and visitors are accounted for. They should be instructed not to re-enter until the building is declared safe. (Your existing fire drill procedure will assist you.)



THE DECISION TO RE-OCCUPY Once an evacuation has been completed, the Senior Manager/Nominated Deputy will at some stage have to decide when the building can be re-occupied. Of course, where a suspect object has been found, the Police (if not already present) will attend immediately and assume control, until the object is declared safe. Thereafter, control will revert to the Senior Manager/Nominated Deputy. The Senior Manager/Nominated Deputy should remember that there may be another suspicious object somewhere in the building undiscovered, because the search was terminated and the building evacuated due to the discovery of the first suspect object. The Senior Manager/Nominated Deputy should therefore have the rest of the building searched before considering re-occupation. It also follows that, where the evacuation was carried out before any search, the Senior Manager/Nominated Deputy must ensure that at least one hour is allowed to lapse after that time before search procedures are initiated or re-commenced. Where Police have ordered the initial evacuation, they will remain in control and declare the building safe for re-occupation.


STAFF TRAINING Good training is essential so that in the event of a need to search and evacuate, not only the search teams but also every employee will know what to do. Regular search and evacuation drills will help maintain staffs awareness and vigilance. All staff should be made aware of the evacuation assembly points. Telephonists, secretaries and any other persons likely to answer a telephone should be instructed to handle a bomb threat call (refer to checklist for telephone at Appendix A). Remember other key staff such as Senior Managers/Nominated Deputies and search teams need to know their role, be regularly trained and are instructed to obey their instructions. Put in place procedures to ensure that staff are replaced when they leave or are temporarily absent, so that there are no lapses of cover.


WELFARE AND COUNSELLING People who are in the vicinity of a bomb explosion or anti-social letter/package may, even if they are not injured, suffer after effects. Therefore, referral to the Trust Occupational Health Department may be appropriate for post incident stress debriefing.



RECORD THE EXACT WORDING OF THREAT -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


ASK THESE QUESTIONS a) b) c) d) e) f) g) h) i) j) Where is the bomb right now? When is it going to explode? What does it look like? What kind of bomb is it? What will cause it to explode? Did you place the bomb? Why? What is your name? What is your address? What is your telephone number?


RECORD TIME CALL COMPLETED …………………………………………………………………………………………..

• •



INFORM THE SENIOR MANAGER/NOMINATED DEPUTY Name and telephone number of person informed. …………………………………………………………………………………………..


CONTACT THE POLICE BY USING THE EMERGENCY TELEPHONE NUMBER 999 Time informed ………………………………………………………………………….


THIS PART SHOULD BE COMPLETED ONCE THE CALLER HAS HUNG UP AND POLICE/SENIOR MANAGER/NOMINATED DEPUTY HAVE BEEN INFORMED Time and date of call …………………………………………………………………………... Number at which call is received (that is your extension number) ………………………………………………………………………………………………….. ABOUT THE CALLER Sex of caller? Male Female

Nationality? ……………………………………………… Age? …………………………….. THREAT LANGUAGE Well-spoken Incoherent CALLER’S VOICE Calm Nasal Disguised Daughter Crying Slurred Slow Hoarse Clear throat Excited Lisp Angry Stutter Accent Irrational Taped Foul

Message read by threat- maker

If the voice sounded familiar, who did it sound like? …………………………………………………………………………………………………. What accent? ………………………………………………………………………………….. BACKGROUND SOUNDS Street noises Motor P A system Factory machinery House noises Clear Booth Animal noises Voices Music Office machinery Crockery Static

Others (specify) ……………………………………………………………………….. REMARKS ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Signature ……………………………………………..

Date ……………………………

Print name …………………………………………………………… 14

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