By JOHN FITZPATRICK
He even trained over 400 people to carry on his work when he eventually retired.
During his time at the Hostage and Crisis Unit he faced countless stressful situations including two different parties claiming to hold of the same hostages.
He said: “Sometimes groups say they’ve got them even if they don’t. The thing is, you can’t take that risk with lives.”
Richard spoke to us about death, stress and negotiating with the Taliban... What made you want to go into it? Erm, it wasn’t so much that I wanted to go into but I was asked to. I was a police officer at the time and conducting a lot of their interviews. A friend of mine was running the hostage unit and I was asked to go across there and look at their course. It all happened really quickly but before I knew it I became a negotiator. How do you deal with the pressure? I think you need to take the emotion out of it really. I know that sounds cold but it’s true.
You have to focus more on the people and less about yourself.
The more you concentrate on the other person the better it is. You end up kind of protecting yourself by not thinking about how it makes you feel.
One of the big things that people need to understand is that it’s not a performance by me as the negotiator. I’m there trying to understand the other person and come to a conclusion.