University of Worcester Worcester Research and Publications

“The more you do, the more comfortable you feel”: The police hostage and crisis negotiator journey

Grubb, Amy ORCID:, Brown, S., Hall, P. and Bowen, Erica ORCID: (2021) “The more you do, the more comfortable you feel”: The police hostage and crisis negotiator journey. Journal of Police and Criminal Psychology. ISSN 0882-0783 Online: 1936-6469

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Hostage and crisis negotiators are specialist police officers utilised internationally by police forces to resolve hostage and crisis incidents. Whilst the role has been heavily documented in some parts of the world (namely the United States of America), there is a lack of literature relating to the organisational and operational processes and procedures in place for police negotiators in the United Kingdom. Equally, there is limited research that has explored the experiences of negotiators who perform an essential function within a variety of life-or-death situations with a view to understanding how officers transition from trainee to qualified negotiators. This paper outlines the development of a grounded theoretical model that depicts the “hostage and crisis negotiator journey”, as represented by English negotiators. Interviews were conducted with 15 negotiators from nine police forces in England and a conceptual model was developed including five primary, 12 secondary, and 32 tertiary categories. The negotiator journey is chronologically recounted by means of the five main primary categories identified: 1) ‘Why? Reasons for entering (and remaining within) the negotiator world’; 2) ‘Who and how? The negotiator profile and selection’; 3) ‘Negotiator training’; 4) ‘Operational negotiator roles’; and 5) ‘Negotiator welfare and support’. This paper demonstrates one of the first attempts to empirically map the processes and procedures in place for negotiators in England and the findings are discussed in line with their potential implications for police policy and practice.

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Open Access This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit

Uncontrolled Discrete Keywords: Police hostage and crisis negotiator, Hostage and crisis negotiation policy, Negotiator training, Negotiator stress, Negotiator welfare
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Divisions: College of Business, Psychology and Sport > School of Psychology
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Copyright Info: © The Author(s) 2021
Depositing User: Amy Grubb
Date Deposited: 17 Nov 2021 16:21
Last Modified: 03 Dec 2021 15:14

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