The current focus on armed support for vessels traveling high risk waters should not become the norm, according to GAC Protective Solutions' Christer Sjödoff. Speaking at a “Lunch and Learn” session to delegates from the shipping and offshore industries who gathered in London to debate long-term, effective ways to tackle the threat of sea crime, Sjödoff said that sole reliance on private maritime security companies is not a long-term solution to maritime security threats around the world.
“Rather, we should ensure that owners and operators have access to the latest intelligence regarding current and developing patterns of sea crime, as well as the means to proactively harden their vessels and train all crew members ahead of any voyage, both of which are fundamental to combating sea crimes,” Sjödoff added.
Speaking for AKE, a maritime intelligence agency, Director Rick Filon, said: “As an industry, we have rushed to arm ourselves against a violent threat, which is understandable. However, this is neither a proportionate response nor a sustainable long-term solution. Further, the simple presence of arms on board may even lead to an escalation of violence.
“Whilst we must always remain vigilant, it is clear that effective risk mitigation and the use of preventative solutions provide a global, cost effective and safe solution that is proportionate to the threat of sea crime.”