Kidnapping
Overview
In criminal law
Criminal law
Criminal law, is the body of law that relates to crime. It might be defined as the body of rules that defines conduct that is not allowed because it is held to threaten, harm or endanger the safety and welfare of people, and that sets out the punishment to be imposed on people who do not obey...

, kidnapping is the taking away or transportation of a person against that person's will, usually to hold the person in false imprisonment
False imprisonment
False imprisonment is a restraint of a person in a bounded area without justification or consent. False imprisonment is a common-law felony and a tort. It applies to private as well as governmental detention...

, a confinement without legal authority. This may be done for ransom
Ransom
Ransom is the practice of holding a prisoner or item to extort money or property to secure their release, or it can refer to the sum of money involved.In an early German law, a similar concept was called bad influence...

 or in furtherance of another crime, or in connection with a child custody
Child custody
Child custody and guardianship are legal terms which are used to describe the legal and practical relationship between a parent and his or her child, such as the right of the parent to make decisions for the child, and the parent's duty to care for the child.Following ratification of the United...

 dispute.
In some countries such as the United States a large number of child abduction
Child abduction
Child abduction or Child theft is the unauthorized removal of a minor from the custody of the child's natural or legally appointed guardians....

s arise after separation or divorce when one parent wishes to keep a child against the will of the other or against a court order.
Encyclopedia
In criminal law
Criminal law
Criminal law, is the body of law that relates to crime. It might be defined as the body of rules that defines conduct that is not allowed because it is held to threaten, harm or endanger the safety and welfare of people, and that sets out the punishment to be imposed on people who do not obey...

, kidnapping is the taking away or transportation of a person against that person's will, usually to hold the person in false imprisonment
False imprisonment
False imprisonment is a restraint of a person in a bounded area without justification or consent. False imprisonment is a common-law felony and a tort. It applies to private as well as governmental detention...

, a confinement without legal authority. This may be done for ransom
Ransom
Ransom is the practice of holding a prisoner or item to extort money or property to secure their release, or it can refer to the sum of money involved.In an early German law, a similar concept was called bad influence...

 or in furtherance of another crime, or in connection with a child custody
Child custody
Child custody and guardianship are legal terms which are used to describe the legal and practical relationship between a parent and his or her child, such as the right of the parent to make decisions for the child, and the parent's duty to care for the child.Following ratification of the United...

 dispute.
In some countries such as the United States a large number of child abduction
Child abduction
Child abduction or Child theft is the unauthorized removal of a minor from the custody of the child's natural or legally appointed guardians....

s arise after separation or divorce when one parent wishes to keep a child against the will of the other or against a court order. In these cases, it is not considered kidnap if the child, being competent, agrees.

Kidnapping versus abduction

In modern usage, kidnapping or abduction of a child is often called child stealing
Child abduction
Child abduction or Child theft is the unauthorized removal of a minor from the custody of the child's natural or legally appointed guardians....

 and parental kidnapping, particularly when done not to collect a ransom but rather with the intention of keeping the child permanently (often in a case where the child's parents are divorced or legally separated, whereupon the parent who does not have legal custody will commit the act, also known as "childnapping").

Child abduction
Child abduction
Child abduction or Child theft is the unauthorized removal of a minor from the custody of the child's natural or legally appointed guardians....

 can refer to children being taken away without their parents' consent
Consent
Consent refers to the provision of approval or agreement, particularly and especially after thoughtful consideration.- Types of consent :*Implied consent is a controversial form of consent which is not expressly granted by a person, but rather inferred from a person's actions and the facts and...

 but with the consent of the child.

Child abduction is the abduction or kidnapping of a child (or baby) by an older person.

England and Wales

Kidnapping is an offence under the common law of England and Wales
England and Wales
England and Wales is a jurisdiction within the United Kingdom. It consists of England and Wales, two of the four countries of the United Kingdom...

.

In R v D, Lord Brandon said:
The following cases are relevant:
  • R v Reid [1973] QB 299, [1972] 3 WLR 395, [1972] 2 All ER 1350, 56 Cr App R 703, [1972] Crim LR 553, CA
  • R v Wellard [1978] 1 WLR 921, [1978] 3 All ER 161, 67 Cr App R 364, CA
  • R v Cort [2003] EWCA Crim 2149, [2003] 3 WLR 1300, [2004] 1 Cr App R 18, CA
  • R v Hendy-Freegard, [2007] EWCA Crim 1236, [2007] 3 WLR 488, The Times
    The Times
    The Times is a British daily national newspaper, first published in London in 1785 under the title The Daily Universal Register . The Times and its sister paper The Sunday Times are published by Times Newspapers Limited, a subsidiary since 1981 of News International...

    , 30 May 2007


Kidnapping of children

In all cases where it is alleged that a child has been kidnapped, it is the absence of the consent of that child which is material. This is case regardless of the age of the child. A young child will not have the understanding or intelligence to consent. This means that absence of consent will be a necessary inference from the age of the child. It is a question of fact for the jury whether an older child has sufficient understanding and intelligence to consent. Lord Brandon said:
If the child (being capable of doing so) did consent to being taken or carried away, the fact that the person having custody or care and control of that child did not consent to that child being taken or carried away is immaterial. If, on the other hand, the child did not consent, the consent of the person having custody or care and control of the child may support a defence of lawful excuse.

See also Gillick competence
Gillick competence
Gillick competence is a term originating in England and is used in medical law to decide whether a child is able to consent to his or her own medical treatment, without the need for parental permission or knowledge....

.

Charging child abduction and kidnapping in the same indictment

See R v C [1991] 2 FLR 252, [1991] Fam Law 522, CA

Restriction on prosecution

No prosecution may be instituted, except by or with the consent of the Director of Public Prosecutions
Director of Public Prosecutions
The Director of Public Prosecutions is the officer charged with the prosecution of criminal offences in several criminal jurisdictions around the world...

, for an offence of kidnapping if it was committed against a child under the age of sixteen and by a person connected with the child, within the meaning of section 1 of the Child Abduction Act 1984
Child Abduction Act 1984
The Child Abduction Act 1984 is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. It creates offences that replace, in England and Wales, the offence of child stealing under section 56 of the Offences against the Person Act 1861....

.

Mode of trial

Kidnapping is an indictable-only offence.

Sentence

Kidnapping is punishable with imprisonment or fine at the discretion of the court. There is no limit on the fine or the term of imprisonment that may be imposed provided the sentence is not inordinate.

See:

CPS guidance

See:

It invariably includes committing false imprisonment, which is the common-law offence of intentionally or recklessly detaining the victim without lawful authority. The use of force to take and detain will also be regarded as an assault
Assault
In law, assault is a crime causing a victim to fear violence. The term is often confused with battery, which involves physical contact. The specific meaning of assault varies between countries, but can refer to an act that causes another to apprehend immediate and personal violence, or in the more...

, and other, related offences may also be committed before, during, or after the detention.

A parent should only be prosecuted for kidnapping his own child "in exceptional cases, where the conduct of the parent concerned is so bad that an ordinary right-thinking person would immediately and without hesitation regard it as criminal in nature".

The United States

Law in the United States follows from English common law.
Following the highly publicized 1932 Lindbergh kidnapping
Lindbergh kidnapping
The kidnapping of Charles Augustus Lindbergh, Jr., was the abduction of the son of aviator Charles Lindbergh and Anne Morrow Lindbergh. The toddler, 18 months old at the time, was abducted from his family home in East Amwell, New Jersey, near the town of Hopewell, New Jersey, on the evening of...

, Congress passed the Federal Kidnapping Act
Federal Kidnapping Act
Following the historic Lindbergh kidnapping , the United States Congress adopted a federal kidnapping statute—popularly known as the Federal Kidnapping Act — which was intended to let federal authorities step in and pursue kidnappers once they had...

, which authorized the FBI to investigate kidnapping at a time when the Bureau was expanding in size and authority. The fact that a kidnapped victim may have been taken across state lines brings the crime within the ambit of federal criminal law.

Most states recognize different types of kidnapping and punish accordingly. e.g. New York bases its definition of first-degree kidnapping on the duration and purpose.

There are several deterrents to kidnapping in the United States of America. Among these are:
  1. The extreme logistical challenges involved in successfully exchanging the money for the return of the victim without being apprehended or surveiled.
  2. Harsh punishment. Convicted kidnappers face lengthy prison terms. If a victim is brought across state lines, federal charges can be laid as well.
  3. Good cooperation and information sharing between law enforcement agencies, and tools for spreading information to the public (such as the AMBER Alert
    AMBER Alert
    An AMBER Alert or a Child Abduction Emergency is a child abduction alert bulletin in several countries throughout the world, issued upon the suspected abduction of a child, since 1996...

     system. )


In 2010 the United States was ranked sixth in the world for kidnapping for ransom, according to the available statistics (after Colombia, Italy, Lebanon, Peru, and the Philippines).

Phoenix, Arizona is the kidnapping capital of America. With 370 cases in 2010, Phoenix is ranked second in the world (ranked first is Mexico City.)

One notorious failed example of kidnap for ransom was the 1976 Chowchilla bus kidnapping, in which 26 children were abducted with the intention of bringing in a $5 million ransom. The children and driver escaped from an underground van without the aid of law enforcement.

According to the department of justice kidnapping makes up 2% of all reported violent crimes against juveniles.

According to a 2003 Domestic Violence Report in Colorado, out of a survey of 189 incidents, most people (usually white females) are taken from their homes or residence by a present or former spouse or significant other. They are usually taken by force, not by weapon, and usually the victims are not injured when they are freed.

Named forms

  • Bride kidnapping
    Bride kidnapping
    Bride kidnapping, also known as marriage by abduction or marriage by capture, is a practice throughout history and around the world in which a man abducts the woman he wishes to marry...

     is a term often applied loosely, to include any bride 'abducted' against the will
    Will (philosophy)
    Will, in philosophical discussions, consonant with a common English usage, refers to a property of the mind, and an attribute of acts intentionally performed. Actions made according to a person's will are called "willing" or "voluntary" and sometimes pejoratively "willful"...

     of her parents, even if she is willing to marry the 'abductor'. It still is traditional amongst certain nomad
    Nomad
    Nomadic people , commonly known as itinerants in modern-day contexts, are communities of people who move from one place to another, rather than settling permanently in one location. There are an estimated 30-40 million nomads in the world. Many cultures have traditionally been nomadic, but...

    ic peoples of Central Asia
    Central Asia
    Central Asia is a core region of the Asian continent from the Caspian Sea in the west, China in the east, Afghanistan in the south, and Russia in the north...

    . It has seen a resurgence in Kyrgyzstan
    Kyrgyzstan
    Kyrgyzstan , officially the Kyrgyz Republic is one of the world's six independent Turkic states . Located in Central Asia, landlocked and mountainous, Kyrgyzstan is bordered by Kazakhstan to the north, Uzbekistan to the west, Tajikistan to the southwest and China to the east...

     since the fall of the Soviet Union
    Soviet Union
    The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

     and the subsequent erosion of women's rights. Also bride kidnapping is widespread in Russia.
  • Express kidnapping
    Express kidnapping
    Express kidnapping , is a method of abduction used in some countries, mainly from Latin America, where a small ransom, that a company or family can easily pay, is requested. It is most common in Mexico, Colombia, and Brazil. It was frequent in Argentina following its political and economic crisis...

     is a method of abduction used in some countries, mainly from Latin America
    Latin America
    Latin America is a region of the Americas where Romance languages  – particularly Spanish and Portuguese, and variably French – are primarily spoken. Latin America has an area of approximately 21,069,500 km² , almost 3.9% of the Earth's surface or 14.1% of its land surface area...

    , where a small ransom, that a company or family can easily pay, is demanded.
  • Tiger kidnapping
    Tiger kidnapping
    A tiger kidnapping or tiger robbery is a crime in which an abduction forms part of a robbery, murder, or any other crime. A person of importance to the victim is held hostage as collateral until the victim has met the criminal's demands.-Etymology:...

     is taking a hostage
    Hostage
    A hostage is a person or entity which is held by a captor. The original definition meant that this was handed over by one of two belligerent parties to the other or seized as security for the carrying out of an agreement, or as a preventive measure against certain acts of war...

     to make a loved one or associate of the victim do something, e.g. a child is taken hostage to force the shopkeeper to open the safe. The term originates from the usually long preceding observation, like a tiger does on the prowl.

Statistics

Global Kidnapping hot-spots
  1999 2006
1 Colombia Mexico
2 Mexico Iraq
3 Brazil India
4 Philippines South Africa
5 Venezuela Brazil
6 Ecuador Pakistan
7 Former Soviet Union Ecuador
8 Nigeria Venezuela
9 India Colombia
10 South Africa Bangladesh

Kidnapping for ransom is a common occurrence in various parts of the world today, and certain cities and countries are often described as the "Kidnapping Capital of the World." As of 2007, that title belongs to Iraq
Iraq
Iraq ; officially the Republic of Iraq is a country in Western Asia spanning most of the northwestern end of the Zagros mountain range, the eastern part of the Syrian Desert and the northern part of the Arabian Desert....

 with possibly 1,500 foreigners kidnapped. In 2004, it was Mexico
Mexico
The United Mexican States , commonly known as Mexico , is a federal constitutional republic in North America. It is bordered on the north by the United States; on the south and west by the Pacific Ocean; on the southeast by Guatemala, Belize, and the Caribbean Sea; and on the east by the Gulf of...

, and in 2001, it was Colombia
Colombia
Colombia, officially the Republic of Colombia , is a unitary constitutional republic comprising thirty-two departments. The country is located in northwestern South America, bordered to the east by Venezuela and Brazil; to the south by Ecuador and Peru; to the north by the Caribbean Sea; to the...

. Statistics are harder to come by. Reports suggest a world total of 12,500-25,500/year with 3,600/year in Colombia and 3,000/year in Mexico around the year 2000.
However by 2006, the number of kidnappings in Colombia had declined to 687 and it continues to decline.
Mexican numbers are hard to confirm because of fears of police involvement in kidnapping.
"Kidnapping seems to flourish particularly in fragile states and conflict countries, as politically motivated militias, organized crime and the drugs mafia fill the vacuum left by government."

In 2009, the Los Angeles Times named Phoenix, Arizona
Phoenix, Arizona
Phoenix is the capital, and largest city, of the U.S. state of Arizona, as well as the sixth most populated city in the United States. Phoenix is home to 1,445,632 people according to the official 2010 U.S. Census Bureau data...

 as America's kidnapping capital, reporting that every year hundreds of ransom kidnappings occur there, virtually all within the underworld associated with human and drug smuggling from Mexico, and often done as a way of collecting unpaid debts.

In the United States, 203,900 children were reported as the victims of family abductions and 58,200 of non-family abductions. However only 115 were the result of "stereotypical" kidnaps (by someone unknown or of slight acquaintance to the child, held permanently or for ransom).

In the past, and presently in some parts of the world (such as southern Sudan
Sudan
Sudan , officially the Republic of the Sudan , is a country in North Africa, sometimes considered part of the Middle East politically. It is bordered by Egypt to the north, the Red Sea to the northeast, Eritrea and Ethiopia to the east, South Sudan to the south, the Central African Republic to the...

), kidnapping is a common means used to obtain slave
Slavery
Slavery is a system under which people are treated as property to be bought and sold, and are forced to work. Slaves can be held against their will from the time of their capture, purchase or birth, and deprived of the right to leave, to refuse to work, or to demand compensation...

s and money through ransom. In less recent times, kidnapping in the form of shanghaiing (or "pressganging
Impressment
Impressment, colloquially, "the Press", was the act of taking men into a navy by force and without notice. It was used by the Royal Navy, beginning in 1664 and during the 18th and early 19th centuries, in wartime, as a means of crewing warships, although legal sanction for the practice goes back to...

") men was used to supply merchant ships in the 19th century with sailor
Sailor
A sailor, mariner, or seaman is a person who navigates water-borne vessels or assists in their operation, maintenance, or service. The term can apply to professional mariners, military personnel, and recreational sailors as well as a plethora of other uses...

s, whom the law considered unfree labour
Unfree labour
Unfree labour includes all forms of slavery as well as all other related institutions .-Payment for unfree labour:If payment occurs, it may be in one or more of the following forms:...

.

Kidnapping on the high seas in connection with piracy
Piracy
Piracy is an act of robbery or criminal violence at sea. The term can include acts committed on land, in the air, or in other major bodies of water or on a shore. It does not normally include crimes committed against persons traveling on the same vessel as the perpetrator...

 has been increasing. It was reported that 661 crewmembers were taken hostage and 12 kidnapped in the first 9 months of 2009.

Criminal gangs are estimated to make up to $500 million a year in ransom payments from kidnapping.

Kidnapping has been identified as one source by which terrorists organizations have been known to obtain funding.
The Perri, Lichtenwald and MacKenzie article identified Tiger kidnapping as a specific method used by a known terrorist organization, although which terrorist cell conducted the intelligence gathering, which terrorist cell made direct contact, and which terrorist cells shared in the profit prior to forwarding the monies obtained from the kidnapping up to the top organization members is not known for certain.

See also

  • Extraordinary rendition
    Extraordinary rendition
    Extraordinary rendition is the abduction and illegal transfer of a person from one nation to another. "Torture by proxy" is used by some critics to describe situations in which the United States and the United Kingdom have transferred suspected terrorists to other countries in order to torture the...

  • Fetal abduction
    Fetal abduction
    Fetal abduction is the kidnapping of an unborn child by forcing a pregnant mother to comply with an early cesarean, and then taking the fetus directly from the mother’s womb. The mother is usually murdered, or does not survive the cesarean process...

  • Forced disappearance
    Forced disappearance
    In international human rights law, a forced disappearance occurs when a person is secretly abducted or imprisoned by a state or political organization or by a third party with the authorization, support, or acquiescence of a state or political organization, followed by a refusal to acknowledge the...

  • Hostage
    Hostage
    A hostage is a person or entity which is held by a captor. The original definition meant that this was handed over by one of two belligerent parties to the other or seized as security for the carrying out of an agreement, or as a preventive measure against certain acts of war...

  • Human trafficking
    Human trafficking
    Human trafficking is the illegal trade of human beings for the purposes of reproductive slavery, commercial sexual exploitation, forced labor, or a modern-day form of slavery...

  • International child abduction
    International child abduction
    The term international child abduction is generally synonymous with international parental kidnapping, child snatching, and child stealing. However, the more precise legal usage of international child abduction originates in private international law and refers to the illegal removal of children...

  • Kidnap and ransom insurance
    Kidnap and ransom insurance
    Kidnap and ransom insurance or K&R insurance is designed to protect individuals and corporations operating in high-risk areas around the world, such as Mexico, Venezuela, Haiti, and Nigeria, certain other countries in Latin America, as well as some parts of the Russian Federation and Eastern Europe...

  • Kidnappings in Colombia
    Kidnappings in Colombia
    Kidnappings in Colombia refers to the practice of kidnapping in the Republic of Colombia. This criminal practice was first introduced in modern Colombian history during the early 1970s by the guerrilla movements and, later, also by criminal groups...

  • List of kidnappings
  • Stockholm syndrome
    Stockholm syndrome
    In psychology, Stockholm Syndrome is an apparently paradoxical psychological phenomenon wherein hostages express empathy and have positive feelings towards their captors, sometimes to the point of defending them...

     is a term used to describe the relationship a hostage can build with their kidnapper.

External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
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