Hostage Negotiation Statistics from the FBI (Infographic)

We have all seen a movie where there is a hostage negotiation. A police man on the bull horn, a suspect with a victim at gun point. You know the drill. But when it comes to the real world, what do the numbers say about how hostage negotiations go.

Where do most hostage scenarios take place?

According to this infographic, 53% of hostage negotiations occur at private residences. While 21% occur at an apartment or condo, 4% in a mobile home, and 3% in a trailer.

How long do most negotiations take?

Most negotiations take less than 9hrs. 36% are handled in 2-4 hours, 28% are solved in less than 2 hours, 19% last between 4-6 hrs. And 11% take between 6 and 9 hours.

How are most negotiations handled?

39% of negotiations involve using an existing phone, while 31% are conducted by bull horn. 5% are simple spoken from cover, and 22% are handled face to face.

Who is most likely to be a subject in a negotiation?

91% of suspects are male, and 60% are white. Additionally, 40% of suspects are between the ages of 35 and 40 years old.

Who is most likely to be a victim in a hostage situation?

55% of victims are female, and 50% are white. 34% of the time, the victim will be of no relation to the suspect.

How many hostage scenarios end without injury?

While 72% of hostage situation involve a weapon, and 37% of those cases involve a handgun, 8% of hostage negotiations end with no injuries. Furthermore, only 1% of hostage situations involve the death of a victim.

This infographic was compiled by Jeff Tompson a Research Fellow at Columbia University School of Law. The data was collected from the FBI’s information.

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