What can Shippers do against Pirates

Can situational crime prevention be applied to piracy?

What can Shippers do against Pirate Attacks? Insights from Situational Crime Prevention

y Jon. M. Shane and Shannon Magnuson, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, New York City

The shipping industry cannot rely on the navies and traditional law enforcement to protect them from pirate attacks and to hold pirates accountable. Patrolling the open waters is different from patrolling on land, crime is easier to perpetrate, harder to detect and harder to prevent. When pirates attack, an armed confrontation is likely, and violence occurs rather frequently (almost 37% in this study). The effectiveness of traditional law enforcement and prosecution efforts are limited in an international context, particularly when dealing with failed states. The limitations of traditional law enforcement are reflected in the dramatic increases in yearly piracy incidents. Even when traditional law enforcement operations are successful, the prosecution is beset by numerous delays and legal obstacles and incarceration is never guaranteed, all of which may attenuate the deterrent effect of arrest and prosecution. However, a recent study in Justice Quarterly argues that pirate attacks are not inevitable. Merchant marines and their vessels can protect themselves by taking measures that alter the transit environment. Situational crime prevention theory provides the framework for proactively deterring offending, in this case maritime piracy.

Situational Analysis – A Partial Solution?

Situational crime prevention (SCP) is a form of “opportunity theory,” It is a micro-level theory that accounts for the interaction between the victim, the offender and the environment. The basic premise is that a strong, visible defense will deter or delay a crime and does not necessarily rely on the criminal justice system to detect and prosecute offenders, or control crime.

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Source: piracy-studies.org

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