Six months ago Judith Tebbutt, aged 56, was holidaying with her husband David in a resort in Kenya. Attackers staged a kidnap attempt, during which Mrs Tebbutt was captured and her husband was killed. She has been a hostage for six months, and has now been released following the payment of a ransom.
Naturally I am pleased for Mrs. Tebbutt, but I cannot condone the payment of a ransom. It simply means that kidnappers know they can make money from this crime, and will encourage further kidnappings, further murders.
The countries of the West should get together and agree that under no circumstances will ransoms be paid, whatever the circumstances. It will be difficult, and lives will be lost as the bandits begin to learn, but eventually many lives will be saved as the criminals realise it won't work. If the whole of the G20 made this pact, countries which had not signed it would realise they were putting their citizens at risk.
We need to bite the bullet, now.