September 22, 2020

New regulations force cruise companies to publish online crime list documenting statistics for thefts, rapes and murders committed on ships


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2457FED600000578-2891540-image-a-1_1420020640516By John Hutchinson From Daily Mail UK

Previously only crimes that had been investigated were published

Now all allegations and ongoing cases available for public viewing

Chairman of Senate Commerce John D Rockefeller instrumental in move

A law has been passed by the US Senate that will make reports of all crimes committed on board cruise ships publicly available.

This will also relate to those that are under investigation, as well as cases that have been decided on.

The Coast Guard Reauthorization Act will see crimes published on a consumer website, maintained by the Department of Transportation.

2457FF7800000578-2891540-image-a-2_1420020651963A record of crimes, either alleged or found to be true, will be available for public viewing online

A record of crimes, either alleged or found to be true, will be available for public viewing online

Ken Carver, President of the International Cruise Victims Association (ICV) – whose own daughter disappeared from a Royal Caribbean cruise ship in Alaska in 2004 – told IHS Maritime: ‘We were thrilled at the passage finally of this major disclosure requirement.

‘This is just one step to hold [cruise ship operators] accountable and needs to be made a worldwide requirement.’

Carver credits Senator John D (Jay) Rockefeller IV, chairman of the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee as being a key player in bringing about the change.

2455463100000578-2891540-The_Senate_hopes_the_move_will_lead_to_more_transparency_from_cr-a-17_1419962026670His skill and determination were essential in moving this legislation forward,’ added Carver.

However, the new law is only applicable in the US, which means it could be restricted to only American-registered cruise lines.

Many companies sail under flags from other nations which offer more favourable laws and regulations. It is unclear whether these cruise lines will still have to submit crime information.

Cruise companies will have to publish information on all crimes that take place on board

The government have long been sceptical that the cruise industry were not totally forthcoming with their crime figures on voyages.

Previously the Coast Guard was responsible for keeping a record of crimes and stats, however these would only be disclosed once investigations had been completed.

Each crime committed, as well as the name-specific cruise liners and number of people on board will be publicised.

In 2010 rules were passed to ensure all cabin doors were fitted with peepholes, and all railings were to be at least 3.5 foot tall in the Cruise Vessel Security and Safety Act.

The Senate hopes the move will lead to more transparency from cruiser liner companies

There has long been negative publicity surrounding disappearances on board cruise ships and fears that crimes were not being fully reported to the public.

The International Cruise Victims Association was set up in 2005 to represent victims of crime on cruise ships, their families and friends.

The organisation has long campaigned for legislative reform to protect passengers from crimes and increase the rights of victims of crimes that do occur on cruise ships.

Maritim lawyer Jim Walker, who has long worked with cruise crime victims, wrote on his blog Cruise Law News: ‘The cruise industry has spent millions of dollars and countless hours lobbying against the cruise crime bills. Several years ago, the Cruise Vessel Safety & Security Act was suppose to require the cruise lines to report all murders, rapes and other crimes to the US public, but behind the scenes shenanigans by the cruise Industry and its trade organization, CLIA, so watered the cruise bill down that it became meaningless.’

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