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NCJ Number: 76471 Find in a Library
Title: Kidnap/Hostage Negotiations and Parallel Actions (From Clandestine Tactics and Technology - A Technical and Background Intelligence Data Service, Volume 3 - See NCJ-77155)
Author(s): J M Samuels
Date Published: 1975
Page Count: 8
Sponsoring Agency: International Assoc of Chiefs of Police
Alexandria, VA 22314
Sale Source: International Assoc of Chiefs of Police
44 Canal Center Plaza, Suite 200
Alexandria, VA 22314
United States of America
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Focusing on the criteria for successful hostage negotiators and the format of successful negotiation strategy, this article presents scenarios and parallel actions to demonstrate some practical negotiation strategies in kidnap and hostage situations. It is written for security directors and law enforcement personnel.
Abstract: Preparation is the key to dealing successfully with hostages. Successful negotiators possess an inner desire to achieve and display little fear of ambiguity or uncertainty. They demonstrate the ability to plan, think clearly under stress, and perceive and exploit power. In addition, they have general practical intelligence, verbal ability, knowledge of the situation, and integrity. Moreover negotiators must be able to avoid emotional involvement with the victim or abductor and must know themselves well enough to realize when anger, fear, or frustration are taking hold and reducing their effectiveness. The negotiation strategy takes into account the rewards the kidnapper seeks and the ability of the negotiator, in the classic parent-child relationship of the hostage/kidnap situation, to punish or withhold the reward, all the while emphasizing that protecting the victim is the only factor keeping the kidnapper alive. The exercise of the negotiator's office or position, such as prison warden, mayor, or governor, can give an advantage in a negotiation as well as a disadvantage. For example, to insult the warden without suffering a reprisal gives the leaders of a dissident group the prestige they might otherwise never achieve. For this reason, the rank of the negotiator must be carefully considered. Abductors must be convinced that their lives and futures are dependent upon an acceptable resolution of the negotiation. In determining a negotiation strategy, an overall balance is needed that offers the requisite rewards, threatens creditable punishment, and limits the oppositions' flexibility. Scenarios on dealing with mentally ill offenders, criminals, and revolutionaries demonstrate some practical steps that may be used in striking the negotiation balance. Before negotiations commence and while they are in progress, other actions should also be taken, including training potential victims, preparation of ransom packages, schemes to increase pressure on the abductor, and plans to forcibly free the hostage. Suggestions on conduct if taken hostage, prepared by the U.S. Cabinet Committee to Combat Terrorism, are also presented.
Index Term(s): Counter-terrorism tactics; Hostage negotiations; Kidnapping; Personnel selection; Police hostage-negotiation units; Psychological manipulation; Terrorist profiles
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