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Critical and Violent Conflicts: Management of Critical Situations

NCJ Number
Journal of Polcie Crisis Negotiations Volume: 3 Issue: 2 Dated: 2003 Pages: 65-72
Maria de los Angeles Vecchiarelli Ph.D.; Miguel Angel Martin Ph.D.
James L. Greenstone Ed.D.
Date Published
8 pages
This article briefly describes the management of critical situations through the use of negotiations, specifically during a hostage-taking and an attack, as well as the characteristics of the offender and of the incident.
Due to certain individuals’ jobs, there are certain people who are at greater risk of being victims than the common citizen. The reasons may be because they are exposed for longer periods of time, they use certain kinds of valuable objects, or because they have a certain appearance. This article begins by analyzing the different kinds of criminal incidents to which people are exposed, such as highly brief criminal action (snatching), use of threat (attack), and use of a person for defense (hostage-taking). It continues by describing characteristics of the offender and characteristics of the incident. The article concludes with the importance in managing a critical situation through negotiation. Negotiation is an important instrument in the management of conflicts, and the type of conflict where the situation becomes more critical is the hostage-taking, or in other situations of extreme danger such as attacks, where generally a failure may cost someone’s life. In the case of attacks, the management is different, as the criminals are free to escape and the only negotiator is the victim. The management of critical situations may be solved through an adequate negotiation that reduces the possibilities of injuries or patrimonial damages. With the situation having a very high emotional content, the quicker the solution, the less the risks will be. 1 Table, 1 figure


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