How to deal with a hostage situation

If you are alerted to an actual or suspected hostage incident your key role is to capture available information before reporting the incident to the Royal Mail Security helpdesk on 5474 6655 or 020 7239 6655.

Hostage threats / reports are likely to be made by phone, but the advice and questions below are relevant if reports are received by any other means.

Stay calm

Be patient and supportive, advise the caller that you are going to use a set questions to try and obtain all the necessary details. Assure the caller they have done the right thing by reporting the incident.

Record the details

If the caller has limited time to talk, concentrate on capturing their contact details and bare facts (who, what, when, where, why), otherwise use the following questions.

Record the call if you have that facility.

Record details of the initial report
  • How were you alerted? (Face to face, on way to work, at work, by telephone, by email or SMS, via a third party, other)
  • Date and time of alert/call
  • What did they say? (Where possible use exact words)
  • Name(s) of Hostage(s) (include relationship to caller or RMG employee involved)
Record details of the hostage
  • Age/sex of hostage
  • When/where were they last seen?
  • What were they last wearing?
  • Who last spoke to the hostage(s)?
  • Home and mobile contact phone numbers of hostage(s)
  • Location of hostage(s)
  • Hostage(s) vehicle details (make, model, colour, registration)
Record any information about the kidnapper(s) and their demands
  • What do they want the Royal Mail employee to do?
  • Contact telephone numbers given by the kidnapper(s)
  • Description of kidnappers (What did they look like? What did they sound like?)
  • Vehicles used by the kidnappers (make, model, colour, registration)
  • Description of weapons seen or used
  • Do the kidnappers claim to represent anyone or any organisation?
  • Have the kidnappers made any demands?
Establish a contact strategy

Establish a contact strategy with caller / person who reported the incident, is he / she available to receive calls or set time for them to phone back on your number.

If the caller says the kidnappers demand assurances that the Police will not be called, this should be given.

Strictest confidentiality must be maintained

To secure the safe release of the hostages and to protect other employees you must maintain strict confidentiality, do not discuss with anyone unless directed by Royal Mail Security or the Police.

Contact Royal Mail security

Immediately phone Royal Mail Security on 5474 6655  or 020 7239 6655 and state “I am reporting a kidnap incident”

Remain available to support Royal Mail Security

Please remain available as a point of contact for the person who reported the hostage incident and Royal Mail Security until otherwise directed.

Maintain strict confidentiality

Advise any other person who heard the call or has otherwise been made aware of the hostage incident that strictest confidentiality must be maintained.

Do not make any further enquiries unless directed by Royal Mail Security or the Police.

Provide appropriate support to affected people

At the conclusion of the incident ensure continued support is offered to the affected Royal Mail Group people and their families. Implement remedial actions identified. First Class Support Service 0800 688 8777

If in doubt at any stage always call Central Postal Control (CPC)

Central Postal Control deals with issues on a regular basis and will be able to talk you through how to deal with any situation.