The aim of negotiation is to secure the release of the victim in good health. The immediate payment of the ransom demanded may not be the best solution. Information available about kidnappings proves that immediately following the abduction, the kidnap gang will be in a high state of nervousness and excitement. Once informed, there will almost certainly be much Police activity, and therefore an atmosphere of increased danger surrounding any attempt at a rapid ransom payment.

It is possible to identify three common problems associated with rapid and substantial ransom payments:

1. Double Ransom: the kidnappers will think they have demanded too little money; the victim may not be released on the first payment and a second ransom may be demanded.

2. Future Kidnappings: there is a danger that the family may be seen as an easy source of money and suffer further incidents in the future.

3. Relations with the Authorities: to maintain a good relationship in the country where the incident has occurred, agreement to pay a ransom should be arranged with the Authorities.


When an incident occurs, the company/family is faced with a number of critical problems, which will be unlike anything they have ever dealt with before. At worst, a wrong decision can result in the death of the kidnap victim and possible financial ruin. Therefore, the best possible expertise is essential; second best is unacceptable.

The special negotiation consultant’s task is to advise the corporation or family on how best to ensure the safe return of the victim; and to advise on how to reduce the risk of kidnap in the future. The special negotiation consultant will have been recruited from a senior level specialist military or Special Forces background and will have received the most professional training in solving the problems posed by an incident.