Vehicle search procedure and policy


The vehicle search procedure has divided into two main parts resulting in the methodical and consistent approach to performing the tasks. The security staff must know the vehicle search procedures and policies of that organization.

  1. Directing the vehicle into the search bay: When you are performing the duty as the traffic control you should keep in mind following things before request the driver to go to the search bay;
    •  Make effective communication with the security staff who is responsible to search the vehicles.
      • Radio/voice/visual contact
      • Relay update on search progress
    • Maintain the traffic flow to the search bay as a manageable rate (as low as possible)
    • Select the vehicles as per the site traffic management policies
    • direct the driver to the search bay by using the proper hand signal
    • Be vigilant to the other drivers and make sure no one is escaped from the search
    • Identify and unusual appearance and suspicious behavior of the driver.

Driver management: When the security staff working in the search bay they should know how to approach, communicate, and manage the drivers. Make sure you have followed the site policy whether the driver remains inside or exit from the vehicles.

The place where the driver remains inside;

  • Low threat environment
  •  A search of cargo-only
  • Rate of search completions required
  • technology is in place such as x-ray, and scanner, etc.

The place where the driver needs to remove;

  • High threat environment need a detailed search
  • The access control point security staff has informed you about the suspicious behavior of the driver.
  • The company policy does not disclose the search techniques to other people.

Communication with the driver

Before searching, you should effectively communicate with the driver and describe them;

  • Where to stop the vehicle
  • When to leave the vehicle
  • Where to move to once out of the vehicle
  • Where to remain while the search is conducted
  • When to return to the vehicle
  • When to drive the vehicle out of the search bay

2. Searching for the vehicle

Searching vehicles is very critical, because, failing to properly search could lead a crime or safety threat will go undetected. 10 area should physically inspect;

  1. Underside
  2.  Driver and passenger areas inside the vehicle
  3. Left front wheel arch, tyre, and inner wheel assembly, side paneling
  4.  Hood and engine bay
  5. A front bumper and light housings
  6.  Right front wheel arch, tyre, and inner wheel assembly, side paneling
  7.  Right rear wheel arch, tyre and inner wheel assembly, side paneling
  8. Trunk and spare tyre
  9.  A rear bumper and light housings
  10.  Left rear wheel arch, tyre, and inner wheel assembly, side paneling

Additional area need to search for

  • heavy vehicles
    • Additional wheels and axles
    • Tool bins fitted to the sides
    • On the roof
    • Air cylinders (braking systems)
    • Luggage compartments of coaches
    • The cargo hold of transport trucks
  • Specialist vehicles 
    • Buckets and scoops of earthmoving machinery
    • Under-seat storage of forklifts and cranes
    • A raised platform of scissor lift

the sequence of inspecting the vehicles

  • Start and finish at the same point as the vehicle every time
  • Move-in a clockwise direction around the vehicle
  • Inspect each of the 10 areas from top to bottom
  • Use a torch to clearly see internal spaces
  • Move on to the next section only when satisfied that the current section is clear
  • If searching with a partner
    • Start at diagonally opposite sections of the vehicle
    • Move-in a clockwise direction
    • Communicate with the partner when finished each section

If a dangerous item is detected follow this procedure. 

  • Remain calm and make a quick mental note about
    • Location in the vehicle
    • Colors
    • Odors
    • Suspected material
  • Evacuate the search bay to a safe distance
  • Call the police and report the incident (Either directly, or through the control room)
  • Detain the driver in accordance with the law.

Conclusion: vehicle search procedure could be different depending on the organizations but search techniques are similar in the world. The security guard should know the company policies for the vehicle’s search and must conduct a search in detail.

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