U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

NCJRS Virtual Library

The Virtual Library houses over 235,000 criminal justice resources, including all known OJP works.
Click here to search the NCJRS Virtual Library

Rules of Engagement: Negotiating the Role Canadian Police Officers Play During International Kidnappings

NCJ Number
Gazette Volume: 64 Issue: 2 Dated: 2002 Pages: 25-29
Heather Hamilton
Date Published
5 pages
This article discusses the roles the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) play in international kidnapping resolutions.
Kidnappings have become an increasing concern for Canadians that travel or work abroad. The ultimate goal during international kidnappings is the safe return of Canadians. The rule in every international hostage taking or kidnapping is that local authorities are responsible for all aspects and management of the case. There is no clear provision in the Criminal Code of Canada that allows Canadian police officers to operate in a foreign country and no clear understanding of how a Canadian court would deal with persons brought before the law. The activity of Canadian police officers working abroad is afforded protection under the law only in pre-defined circumstances. The ultimate responsibility during an international kidnapping, if a ransom is to be paid, rests with the employing company. Most of these companies hire a private company with expertise in such matters to carry out the negotiations and report directly to them. Negotiations that occur during international kidnappings involve a different skill-set than the skills Canadian negotiators currently possess. In kidnappings where the victim is used as a means to an end, kidnappers use distributive strategies and tactics to negotiate their demands. The kidnappers will generally start out asking for a higher asking price than is reasonable. One of the secrets is to convince the kidnappers their commodity is overpriced and cause their expectations to fall. To be successful, Canadian police officers will need to adopt these skills and increase their levels of international cooperation and practice.