Hostage situations and Hijackings

SAFETY HINTS: HOSTAGE SITUATIONS AND HIJACKING

The following safety hints are aimed at providing a potential hostage or hijacking victim with practical advice and enhance road safety. It is important to note that most hostages, victims of hijacking survive the incident and are eventually released or rescued. In most instances, injuries and deaths are the result of inconsiderate actions taken by the victims themselves. There are certain guidelines that could increase a victim’s chances of survival and decrease the risk of humiliation, discomfort and injury:

KNOW WHAT TO EXPECT AS A VICTIM

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  • People who are taken hostage or hijacked, tend to experience feelings of anxiety, shock, disbelief and confusion.
  • This first reaction usually leads to resistance, or retaliation which could have fatal consequences.
  • Prepare yourself to be alone and isolated from your family, friends or loved ones, and to lose track of time and place.

KNOW WHAT TO EXPECT OF THE PERPETRATORS

  • They could be tense, anxious and nervous.
  • They could display a tendency to overreact.

DO’S

  • Do everything the perpetrators tell you to do.
  • Try at all times to maintain your pride, dignity and self-respect.
  • Keep your brain active by playing games in your mind (mind games), daydreaming and reading whatever you are offered.
  • To maintain your physical strength you should eat the food provided by your captor(s).
  • Try to maintain a sense of humor, but do not ridicule the aggressors.
  • Try to remain orientated regarding your movements, directions, time and place.
  • Try to maintain a routine and remain fit, if circumstances permit.
  • Allow yourself to be led by your captor(s).
  • Try to remain cool and calm.
  • Fall flat and remain down during the relieving attack

DON’TS

  • Do not at any time become panic stricken or hysterical.
  • Do not offer any form of resistance.
  • Do not become abusive and aggressive or lose your temper.
  • Do not threaten or provoke the captor(s).
  • Do not try to be a hero.
  • Do not engage in an argument with the captor(s).
  • Do not engage in any whispered conversations with the perpetrators.
  • Do not use foreign concepts or languages, as this could arouse the captors’ suspicions.
  • Do not make any demands.
  • Do not be sympathetic towards your captors’ cause.
  • Do not try to escape, as this could place you at risk.

These safety hints are published by the South African Police Service, Division: Crime Prevention, in support of actions taken by hostage negotiators in the best interest of the community.

YOUR SAFETY IS OUR CONCERN

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