The suicide at Shivaji Park on Sunday in the presence of the police at the woman’s house, brings to light the fact that the Mumbai police do not have trained personnel for the specialised job of negotiating in such situations.
“We do not have specially-trained negotiators in the department,” Mumbai police spokesperson Nisar Tamboli told HT to suggestions that a negotiator could have proved useful in dealing with the situation at Shivaji Park. Ordinary policemen are only trained in maintenance of law and order, crime detection and prevention skills. Tamboli said specialised negotiator teams have been raised by selected police departments in some western countries mostly to deal with hostage situations created by terrorists or mentally disturbed individuals.
“That is a highly-specialised job which entails special training on behavioural traits and circumstantial demands,” he said adding, “however, domestic quarrels or stand-offs can better be handled by civilians.”
Asked what would the police do in domestic situations in the absence of trained negotiators, Tamboli said, “Even though we don’t have qualified negotiators, in a situation like the one on Sunday, one does not need them. Every policeman inculcates the skills of negotiation through experience and uses those to defuse a situation.”