Royal Mail – Urgent Security Newsflash Issued Following The Discovery of Three Suspect Packages

Health & Safety

Branches will have seen the breaking news appearing through the media last night and this morning on TV, Radio and in National Newspapers reporting the discovery of 3 IEDs.

Yesterday afternoon, the Royal Mail National Protective Security Manager briefed the National Health, Safety and Environment Department and assured us that Royal Mail’s Security Team is working closely with the Police and others.

The Police are investigating three small improvised explosive devices which have been sent in the mail, addressed to transport hubs including airports and a train station. A small fire was started when one of these packages was opened.

The Suspect Packages were posted in Brown Jiffy Bags, contained inside white outer plastic envelopes and bearing Dublin, Republic of Ireland Postmarks and they each had two Valentine’s Day Stamps affixed bearing hearts and the message ‘love Ireland’. (See attached RM Security Urgent Newsflash and photographs of the items).

All CWU Reps are asked to support the Royal Mail cascade of this information‎‎, asking members to be vigilant and keep a keen look out for any similar items in the Postal system which should be reported immediately and treated as a ‘Suspect Package’ as per the RMG “Stay Calm/Be Aware” process and if in any doubt Persons in Charge (PiC) and Managers should call Royal Mail Central Postal Control (CPC) for guidance. CPC are available to support Offices and they have been fully briefed‎.

One of the three items briefly caught light when opened and a full scale ‎joint Police investigation is underway‎ involving both the UK and ROI Police forces and Security Services.

‎AN Post, the Postal Services provider in the Republic of Ireland is working closely with Royal Mail and has issued an Alert within their operation to look out for similar suspect packages entering their system, addressed to the UK.

Likewise, All ROI mail comes in to the UK via Atherstone and so the management and staff were briefed there as a priority to be on the lookout. Additionally the Belfast Mail Centre management and staff were briefed and measures have been taken regarding screening of mail items bound for the UK.

Therefore, please urge members to remain vigilant at all times.

The characteristics of the packages found so far are:

Contained in a white self-sealing C5 outer polylope/plastic postal bag or envelope, bearing two x Euro 1 Republic of Ireland (AnPost) postage stamps with a heart motif and cancellation marks. ‎ The address was handwritten in block capital letters in black ink‎. Inside the postal bag is a brown A5 Jiffy bag.  The addresses were transport hub related (Heathrow Airport, London City Airport and Waterloo Rail Station.

If any member discovers a suspicious item matching this description, follow the Royal Mail Stay Calm/Be Aware guidelines for managing suspect parcels:


Contact CPC on 0345 266 1060

  • Ensure the item has been set down carefully on the nearest flat surface – the floor will do.
  • Do not try to cover it or put it in a bag.
  • Do not bend, squeeze, flex or pinch the item.
  • Warn colleagues and people in the immediate vicinity that a suspect package has been found and that you are in the process reporting it and determining if there is any danger.
  • Alert your manager who will call the CPC or the Police and advise staff on next steps‎.

The Police will be keeping Royal Mail Security updated and informed of any further developments in their investigations and Royal Mail Security are continuing to work with the authorities to protect against further items entering the Royal Mail pipeline. Royal Mail Security will be liaising with the Health Safety and Environment Department on any further developments in due course and we will update Branches accordingly.

Briefing note transport hub suspect packet series

Further to LTB 139/19, please find attached a copy of an updated, Urgent Brief (CPC 005) which was sent to all Operational Offices (Mail Centres, Hubs and Delivery Offices) by Royal Mail Central Postal Control (CPC) last night.

This slightly updates the original brief (CPC 004) sent out which management in all Offices would have received following the 5 March IED incidents at Heathrow Airport, London City Airport and Waterloo Railway Station.

Police in Scotland have confirmed that a further suspect packet incident which they managed at Glasgow University yesterday on 6 March is linked to the three London incidents on 5th March so the CPC amended ‘Action Flash’ was sent out with some minor changes having been made to the message (see attached) to include reference to the Glasgow University package.

The Glasgow packaging, markings and the type of device recovered are very similar to the three discovered on the 5th March.

The key messages and descriptions, photographs and details remain valid and all CWU Reps are asked as a priority to cascade this information to our members to remain vigilant and to look out for similar suspicious packages if any similar parcels are discovered – report them immediately.

A fifth suspect IED Package was reported at Essex University yesterday and was investigated by Essex Police who later confirmed it to be a false alarm.