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Old 21-10-2011, 00:09   #1
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Stronger Governmental Response to Piracy

Extract from a speech by Foreign Office Minister Henry Bellingham's speech to the British Chamber of Shipping on the UK Government’s response to counter-piracy:

"And so to private armed security. I know this is an issue which matters a lot to the industry. And it matters to the Government as well. Current Government policy strongly discourages the use of private armed security on ships. My colleague Mike Penning has said that this policy should change, and has done a lot of hard work to make this possible. You will all understand that the complex legal issues linked to use of firearms need to be considered very carefully, including the extent of any regulation necessary. But this work is nearly done, and a change of policy and practice will be announced soon. I want to underline that we are not doing this lightly. We are planning for the arming of ships to be a temporary measure only. It is a response to the extraordinary circumstances in which we now find ourselves. But we are doing this because there is no doubt that private armed security provides significant protection. Not one ship carrying armed security has yet been hijacked. And 9 out of 10 failed attacks in the last few months were repelled by armed security, in those situations where the military was not involved.

There are risks. The military must be told armed security is aboard. Any use of force must be in compliance with the law. And it is essential that armed security is not used as an excuse for the highly effective self-protection measures to be put to one side. But the key risk is quality. There are many providers out there. Many of them have a good reputation. But some are cowboys. I want to make clear my respect for the hard work of the industry, which has worked alongside UK officials to provide the guidance which will make this work. Ultimately it is down to the industry to analyse its own risks, decide what security it needs, and who it wants to provide it. But we are strongly encouraged by the good work being done on self-regulation by industry bodies and associations."

Full text at Tackling Piracy: UK Government Response

Interesting and worth reading.
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Old 21-10-2011, 00:41   #2
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Re: Stronger governmental response to piracy

After seeing some U-Tube vidio's of how the Russian navy deals with thiefs on the water (aka pyrates) I would hire them because they don't beleave in trials if they catch the thiefs in the act they won't bother anyone ever again. I've never heard of Russian cowboys but there navy doesn't mess around.
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Old 21-10-2011, 00:56   #3
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Re: Stronger governmental response to piracy

Quote:
Originally Posted by bobsadler View Post
...there is no doubt that private armed security provides significant protection. Not one ship carrying armed security has yet been hijacked. And 9 out of 10 failed attacks in the last few months were repelled by armed security...
Thanks for this. I wonder how it will affect us yachts?

One idea I floated a while ago is for the Military to allow ships to take on a few Marines to act as guards. The Marines would stay on board for the 2-3 days it takes to transit the problem areas, then get off & guard another ship back the other direction. I think the Marines would love it!

We've crossed the Indian Ocean (IO) 2x now, skirting the edge of pirate areas (Seychelles) both times. We would have loved to take an armed guard on board. But other countries around the IO, especially SE Asia, are still very sticky about weapons. I wish they'd look at their laws again in light of the changing IO situation. From what I hear, pirates are looking for soft targets, & a few rifle shots at long range will convince them to look elsewhere.
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Old 21-10-2011, 01:01   #4
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Re: Stronger governmental response to piracy

I was reading in my latest Lattitudes and Attitudes magizine about a convoy of 19 crusers / sailboats went thru the IO without any problem but they stayed together in formation most of the time.
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Old 21-10-2011, 04:50   #5
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Re: Stronger governmental response to piracy

I didn'tknow that there was a "policy" or law aganist having armed security on boats now as long as they were in international water.

So I don't really see what the point the UK gov't is looking to make.
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Old 21-10-2011, 05:07   #6
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Re: Stronger governmental response to piracy

Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Lucas View Post
I didn'tknow that there was a "policy" or law aganist having armed security on boats now as long as they were in international water.

So I don't really see what the point the UK gov't is looking to make.
Having known weapons aboard a commercial ship, and the likelyhood of returning fire from that ship, removes it from a non-combatant status.
To the pirates, this may discourage them--or force escalation.
I hope this doesn't make small yachts a less risk target.
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Old 21-10-2011, 05:16   #7
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Re: Stronger governmental response to piracy

Quote:
Originally Posted by Blue Stocking View Post
Having known weapons aboard a commercial ship, and the likelyhood of returning fire from that ship, removes it from a non-combatant status.
To the pirates, this may discourage them--or force escalation.
I hope this doesn't make small yachts a less risk target.
I still don't undertand the "policy" thing because boats can arm themselves, if they can get the weapons to/on the boat.

How are the pirate suppose to know there are weappons on board? Is there going to be a flag, kind of like those house alarm stickers on windows?
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Old 21-10-2011, 05:32   #8
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Re: Stronger governmental response to piracy

I agree Don.

I guess it comes down to what you want to accomplish. Protect your ship, crew and cargo?--or kill pirates.
Haven't read the whole text as linked, but will. Answers may be there.
Either way--it is escalation. Good or bad!!
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Old 21-10-2011, 09:11   #9
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Re: Stronger governmental response to piracy

Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Lucas View Post
I still don't undertand the "policy" thing because boats can arm themselves, if they can get the weapons to/on the boat.
That is kinda the root of the problem, Even with the thought of putting military people aboard. These ships make port in many different counttries all of them with different laws. Most of these countries have no interest in another countries shipping security, and have a big problem with another countries', (maybe historical enemy), troops entering their waters, no matter the reason.

Same problem with arming the ships. It may be legal, (depending on vessels registry, or flag), for the ship to be armed in international waters, but...what about each port it enters?

What about company policy, (protect the freight, reduce liability, bailout crew is last on list). It is much cheaper to hire new crew than pay ransoms.

If you arm the crew they may mutiny, if you arm Captain he may abuse power over crew. Remember these aren't military trained people. They are just as likely to shoot each other or themselves, as the pirates.

Historically even when merchant ships had cannons, they usually either surrendered to threat of sinking, or where out maneuvered by experienced pirates that boarded without gunbattle in ships blind spot.

All of these measures are really bandaids for the root of the problem. Fact is ships ran the gulf of Aden for over 100 years without danger. What changed? The failure of major countries to crack down on piracy in the beginning. The failure of surrounding countries to stage imediate military retaliation against any country that fails to control it's own people , and coastline, ports.

The UN hand wringing while supporting the pirates, against those countries that wanted to end it. We have a solution we just don't choose to employ it.
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Old 21-10-2011, 09:33   #10
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Re: Stronger governmental response to piracy

Quote:
Originally Posted by Blue Stocking View Post
..It comes down to what you want to accomplish. Protect your ship, crew and cargo?--or kill pirates...
Blue, I think you're missing a vital point. I want to protect my family, & I certainly don't want to escalate things. The only way to advertise that you have weapons on board is to put a few rounds in their direction while they're still far away. I don't want to hurt anything, I just want them to realize that I'm not a soft target so they'll go away. (OK, if they get closer maybe I'll try for their outboards - but I plan to cross in June/July, when the pirates aren't there)

Don, I agree that it's strange that the UK thinks they have jurisdiction over ships in international waters, especially since the UK allows their yachts to carry more or less whatever they want (although they're only allowed to bring a shotgun back into the UK).

The point about non-combatant status is well made. How does that affect things? In the US, arming oneself doesn't necessarily make one a combatant.
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Old 21-10-2011, 10:12   #11
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Re: Stronger Governmental Response to Piracy

I am guessing the UK Govt decided that the stiffly worded letter to "The Times of Somalia" sent a few years back may require some re-inforcement - with a few more words of disaproval

Rule Brittannia!
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Old 21-10-2011, 11:56   #12
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Re: Stronger Governmental Response to Piracy

Jon,
The safety of your family,and the many other families out there, is the piont of my last line in post #6.
Be safe.
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Old 30-10-2011, 13:16   #13
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Re: Stronger Governmental Response to Piracy

Armed guards to protect British ships from pirates - Telegraph
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Old 30-10-2011, 13:28   #14
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Re: Stronger governmental response to piracy

Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Lucas View Post
How are the pirate suppose to know there are weappons on board? Is there going to be a flag, kind of like those house alarm stickers on windows?
Appropriate flags are available. An example:


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Old 02-11-2011, 09:48   #15
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Re: Stronger Governmental Response to Piracy

I'm continually amazed that the pirate lairs on the coast are not taken out. Somalia is practically an anarchy. It's obvious from recent events that the pirates are spreading to neighbouring countries and abducting westerners (the recent death of a terminally ill French woman being a case in point) so they aren't going away. Yes it would kill a lot of people, some of them might even be innocent or at least not directly involved. Sad. But do it anyway.

These are lice who prey on our humanity and desire to see people returned safely to their families. They exploit it for profit. Frankly, I think they should be paid off in high explosives and napalm. Captured pirates SHOULD be hung. Preferably in public.
Am I bloodthirsty? No, not really. But these people (and I use the term loosely) are indifferent to suffering and murder and use our compassion for humanity against us. I think it might be time to play at least a little by their rules and stomp on them very hard, the British should remember the parable about paying Danegeld and never getting rid of the Danes.

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