An inquest into the handling of the Sydney Siege has found that NSW might not be dealing with the most well-staffed and well-equipped hostage negotiation team, when it was revealed that the negotiator working the siege was simultaneously dealing with 3 other stand-offs over the phone.

The detail, which seems like it would have been shocking even if it was just two stand-offs, was told to the inquest committee by the NSW Police Negotiation Unit Commander (codenamed “Graeme“), who was in charge during the siege, and is one of the unit’s 3 full-time employees.

“Graeme” was dealing with four stand-offs total, one of which was an armed robbery and another was an incident with a machete on the NSW coast.

The siege took place in 2014 at the Lindt cafe, when gunman Man Haron Monis held 18 people hostage. It was initially believed to be a terrorist attack, thanks to Monis’ demands for an ISIS flag to be brought to the cafe, but no ties were found between him and ISIS and the siege was instead attributed to Monis being profoundly disturbed.

Two hostages were killed (one by Monis and one from ricocheting police bullets) and three others were injured, also from police bullets.

At the time of the siege, only “Graeme” and another full-time employee codenamed “Reg” (weird how their codenames are, like, old man first names and not something like “Laserhawk” or “Dark Knight”) were staffing the unit. “Graeme” was working a 33-hour-long shift, including the 17 hours he spent on the Lindt cafe siege.

“Graeme” also revealed he had no access to a computer for part of the siege, and that he was unaware that several important figures including Sydney‘s Grand Mufti had offered to talk to Monis.

Source: ABC News.

Photo: Getty Images / Don Arnold.