Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Has Private Security Scuppered the Somali Piracy?

Incidences of Somali piracy has significantly declined. The main reason: Private security contractors

From (bold mine) [hat tip Bob Wenzel]
In truth, the Queen Mary 2 - carrying 2,500 passengers and 1,300 crew from Southampton to Dubai on the first leg of a world cruise - is not particularly at risk.

Some 345 metres long and 14 stories high, even its promenade deck is seven floors above the sea. The liner is fast, hard to board and - on this passage at least - moderately well armed.

Like many merchant vessels, the QM2 now carries armed private contractors when passing through areas of pirate risk.

Cunard will not discuss precise security arrangements. But contractors on other vessels routinely carry M-16-type assault rifles and sometimes belt-fed machine guns, often picked up from ships acting as floating offshore armouries near Djibouti and Sri Lanka…
More from the same article:
Most vessels passing through the area - container ships, tankers, cruise liners and dhows - now register daily with UKMTO. If they believe they are in danger, they will contact the British team to request military support.

"We've had calls when you could hear gunfire and rocket propelled grenades in the background," says Lieutenant Commander Simon Goodes, the current officer in charge. "But lately, the phones are ringing much less."

The only confirmed attack this year, Goodes said, was on a merchant vessel in early January as it sailed towards the Kenyan port of Mombasa. On-board private security guards repelled the assault after a 30 minute firefight…

For many in the shipping industry, the fall in attacks is a vindication of the decision to massively ramp up the use of armed guards.

So far, not a single ship with armed guards has been taken by pirates - although naval officers and other piracy specialists say hired guards can be excessively trigger-happy and have fired on innocent fishermen from India, Oman and Yemen.
The above shows how the private sector can effectively provide security services.

No comments: