Threats involving violence or damage such as bomb threats must be treated seriously in order to ensure a safe resolution. When a threat call is received, following a strict procedure that has been devised and implemented before receiving the threat is essential. Generally, procedures concerning such threats involve remaining as calm as possible and noting as much information of the caller before authorities are contacted.
In the incidence of a threat made through the phone, the receiver of the call must remain calm and do their best to note as much information about the caller as possible. Small pieces of information, such as a reoccurring background noise, can be pivotal to locating the suspect.
The receiver should by no means try and end the call or put the caller on hold. Conversely, the person receiving the call should ask as many questions as possible and show as much interest as possible to the caller. The longer the call continues, the longer there is for information to be noted about the caller that may lead to a quick conclusion of the threat.
In particular, the person receiving the threat call should ask about the specifics of the threat, as well as any motives or demands that underpin the threat. In the case of a bomb threat, this will involve asking about where the bomb is located and what the bomb may look like. Questions regarding the motive of the caller is also important. By being able to understand the motive of the caller, discerning whether the threat falls under categories such as terrorism can be inferred.
Background noises can help to ascertain the whereabouts of the suspect, such as whether they are outside or inside. In addition, the tone and accent of the caller can be useful in identification. Being extra sensitive to these characteristics of the call is very important, for example, if the quality of the call is very volatile it may indicate the suspect is in a location with bad reception.
The checklist should include a list of questions that should be asked, as well as a simple checklist that can be used to quickly identify key aspects of the caller such as whether they are male or female. Such a checklist should be created by the responsible authorities in charge of a building or venue.
Extra steps should be followed regarding a threat call that involves a bomb threat. If the receiver of the call can communicate without ending or holding the call, they should notify anyone nearby about the possibility of a bomb. The goal is to alert as many people as possible about the threat and to commence a search for suspicious items swiftly.
The search for suspicious items should involve looking for certain characteristics that are typical of bombs. Items that exhibit strange odors or strange sounds should be reported immediately, and shouldn’t be touched. Any postal items that contain excessive foreign postage stamps and poor handwriting should also be reported immediately. Furthermore, the deliverance of unexpected and unknown parcels should be noted as well. Anyone who touches the item should wash their hands extensively afterward as well.
Generally, if a suspicious item has been found and the threat call involved lots of details and very specific demands, the likelihood of the threat being real is significant. Conversely, if there is no suspicious items found following the threat, with the threat being vague and lacking a motive, the threat was likely a prank. Either way, immediate evacuation until authorities have deemed the area safe is essential.
Following established guidelines, checklists and procedures regarding threat calls are vital to ensuring a safe outcome. Threats made by phone, whether they involve a bomb or not, are to be treated seriously with as much information as possible regarding the caller reported to police and other relevant authorities.