Updated 30.04.2018

Suspicious mail

If you receive or observe a suspicious piece of mail, package or material


1. Stay calm.  Probably there is a natural explanation


2. Avoid handling the item

It is important to avoid handling the shipment as much as possible to minimise potential dispersal through the air. Thus, the following should be avoided:

  • Avoid opening the letter/package
  • Avoid moving the letter/package
  • Avoid putting the letter/package in a bag or sack etc.


3. Put the item carefully where found


4. Minimise movement:

It is essential to minimise movement and traffic in the room where the shipment is placed. Persons in the room should move around carefully and as little as possible.


5. Collect information:

Before leaving the room attempt to collect as much information as possible about the shipment so it can be passed on to the authorities. The following observations are particularly important:

  • Basis of suspicion – why is the shipment suspicious?
  • Appearance
  • Size
  • Shape (letter/package)
  • Postal stamps - name of country
  • Recipient and sender, if provided
  • Writings or drawings
  • Typing and spelling
  • Labels
  • Letter, possibly including threats
  • Any shipment enhancements, or other indications that appear suspicious or unusual
  • Method of sealing
  • Leakage
  • Any visible powder


6. Take photos

Photos are very useful for the subsequent investigation. If persons in the room are in possession of a camera, for example in a mobile phone, photos should be taken of the shipment and potentially visible powder.


7. Contact the Police


8. Confine the damage

When leaving the room, the following steps should be taken in order to confine any further harmful consequences:

  • Close doors and windows
  • Stop any ventilation systems


9. Leave the room carefully

Everybody should carefully leave the room, and thereafter only authorised incident management personnel are allowed to enter the room


9. Persons with visible contamination (e.g. powder on their clothes)

  • Stay in a nearby, separate room. Have a working phone with ýou and await assistance.


10. Persons who a are not visibly contaminated but who have been in the room with the shipment

  • Wait in a nearby room. Have a working phone with ýou and await assistance.


12. The Police contact the Centre for Biosecurity and Biopreparedness (CBB) on the 24/7 duty number: 3268 8127



Contact us

Centre for Biosecurity and Biopreparedness 
Statens Serum Institut

5 Artillerivej
DK-2300 Copenhagen S

Telefon: +45 32688127
Email: cbb@ssi.dk