From spontaneous acts of violence to planned and carefully executed operations, the Internet, and live-streamed geographic social platforms, can provide early-warning indicators, background knowledge, risk assessment, and even a communication channel, in relation to personal threat management and negotiation scenarios.

Kidnappings are not always linked to organized crime and do not always occur for criminal or financial gain. Inter-family abduction of children is a large-scale global issue, along with children forcibly removed from their parents for the purposes of forced labour, sexual abuse or re-adoption.

According to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, over 57,200 kidnappings were reported globally in 2011, while figures released in December 2012 show that the number of parental child abduction cases dealt with by the Foreign Office has risen by 88% in just under a decade.

The quantity of readily available research information online, along with live-streamed personal and geographic data, makes the Internet an essential tool in any K&R or hostage negotiation situation. Continual situation reports (SITREPs), digital communication and live local chatter are all key components in high-stress, critical incidents, where non-traditional sources of data are often overlooked.

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