Crisis negotiation has been described as being one of law enforcement’s most effective tools. But is there a difference between the words “crisis” and “hostage?” After researching articles provided by the FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation) Law Enforcement Bulletin, the difference would depend on the situation.
According to the Hostage Barricade Database System (HOBAS) – a database containing information about barricade incidents maintained by the FBI’s CNU (Crisis Negotiation Unit), 96 percent of incidents requiring the response of law enforcement do not include a hostage being taken. That means 4 percent of the situations involved a person taking another person or persons hostage.
A hostage is a person taken involuntarily and held by the perpetrator with plans to trade them for something else in return. This can include a mode of transportation with plans to escape, money, release of a prisoner or items such as food and drinks.