How to search bags and for prohibited Items?


People are allowed to refuse to search bags or baggies by law but the company’s policy may require searching for people and their belonging. When you ask someone to screen their belonging they can refuse it.

If this happened the security staff should be prepared to deal with this situation. You should always gather as much information as possible around the person who has refused to search.

Your SOP (stander operating procedure) clearly describes the actions to be taken in case of refusal including;

  • Deny access to the site or area
  • Record personal details of the person refusing a search
  • Report the occurrence to the supervisor
  • Call the police

Handling the prohibited items;

When you detect any prohibited items in the process of search bags or the belonging you should know the company policy for handling the prohibited items. Each company may have different procedures for storing prohibited items that find in the protective search.

If you want to learn more about how to conduct a protective search click here.

Search bags and person for prohibited items 

Effectively, finding the dangerous and prohibited items the security staff must be familiar with the list of the items that are allowed and not. Here are the common items that consider dangerous in the specific site;

  • Airports
    • Flammable gases, liquids, and gels
    • Weapons
    • Food items
    • Etc.
  • National borders
    • Untaxed goods
    • Drugs/Alcohol
    • Plants and animals
    • Large amounts of cash
  • Construction sites 
    • Unauthorized removal of construction materials
    • Cameras and recording device
  • Corporate headquarters
    • Removable media storage (USB, Hard drive, etc.)
    • Weapons
    • Unauthorized removal of printed documents

This type of item and materials security personnel need to identify while screening for people and baggage. Additionally, a comprehensive understanding of site-specific requirements would help to maintain a healthy security system in an organization.

Safety concern when you search for bags

Any dangerous times that find in the security search should confiscate and keep with the security team as the evidence. when you handling the dangerous items you should beware of your own safety including;

  • Sharp edges
  • Explosive potential
  • Chemical exposure
  •  Biological contamination or infection

Processing the prohibited Items;

  • Collection 
    • Wear gloves to prevent contamination of the evidence
    • Change the gloves if more than one items need to collect. It maintains a sterile connection to the evidence
    • If evidence is a substance, take a sample on a sterile swab and place it in a zip-lock container.
  • Securing
    • Prevent any further access to the item of evidence
  • Preservation 
    • Keep the evidence in an appropriate environment to preserve the usefulness at a later time
  • Identification
    • Label the evidence bag with Company name, Staff name, date, time, location and evidence number
  • Continuity of custody
    • Ensure a record is kept of the transfer of evidence from one person to another
  • Logging
    • Document all items of evidence in an evidence register
  •  Explosives/Chemicals/Bio-hazard detected 
    • Call the police
    • Evacuate the area
    • Lock-down access to the area (Cordon and control)

Conclusion: When you search for bags and personal be aware of your own safety first. If you detect any dangerous items on the protective search should inform to supervisor and control room. Depending on the nature of the items you may require to call the police to handle them.

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