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August 1st 2012
Published: August 1st 2012
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In recent weeks, a handful of biased industry critics continue to use the mainstream media to distort the cruise industry’s strong record on crime reporting and significantly overinflate the number of crimes occurring onboard cruise ships. Unfortunately, the media outlets reporting these stories do not include the perspective of agencies responsible for the enforcement of laws pertaining to crime onboard cruise ships – and the sources of objective third party data - the United States Coast Guard (USCG) and the FBI. The result? Alarming statements, inflammatory accusations and unsubstantiated claims are made that have no basis in fact.

These claims could not be further from the truth. A case in point is the Anderson Cooper 360 piece that aired on CNN on July 9 — “<strong style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal;">The<strong style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal;"> Truth About Crime and Crime Reporting

In recent weeks, a handful of biased industry critics continue to use the mainstream media to distort the cruise industry’s strong record on crime reporting and significantly overinflate the number of crimes occurring onboard cruise ships. Unfortunately, the media outlets reporting these stories do not include the perspective of agencies responsible for the enforcement of laws pertaining to crime onboard cruise ships – and the sources of objective third party data - the United States Coast Guard (USCG) and the FBI. The result? Alarming statements, inflammatory accusations and unsubstantiated claims are made that have no basis in fact.

These claims could not be further from the truth. A case in point is the Anderson Cooper 360 piece that aired on CNN on July 9 — “Cruise Security Experts: Predators at Sea.” There are numerous distortions and inaccuracies about the cruise industry. It is important we set the record straight.

The story notes that 2010 was the first time that public reporting of crimes on board American cruise ships was required as a result of Congressional legislation. In fact, the legal requirement for cruise ships to report serious crimes was first established in 1996, which covers any ship sailing to or from the U.S., and also requires reports of crimes involving Americans on foreign ships in foreign waters. In 2007, the industry entered into an agreement with the USCG and FBI, where reporting procedures were further standardized. The reporting procedures require that when an alleged crime is reported, cruise lines notify the FBI, US Coast Guard, Flag State, and local law enforcement authorities.

Also, the crime reporting requirement doesn't just apply to ‘American’ ships as was reported during the story — it applies to ANY ship that sails to or from the United States. It also requires reporting of crimes committed by or against Americans on foreign ships when on the high seas or in foreign waters or ports.

Congress passed the Cruise Vessel Security and Safety Act (CVSSA) in 2010, which expanded reporting to missing persons and stiffened penalties for non-reporting of the most serious crimes. CLIA worked with Congress to assist in the development and enactment of the CVSSA, which codified many existing CLIA member security programs to establish the most comprehensive set of laws to protect cruise ships passengers to date.

Finally, the story makes the claim that most crimes aren’t reported by the cruise lines. This statement is reckless and false. Cruise lines report all serious crimes, as required by the CVSSA, immediately to the FBI or other appropriate law enforcement authority. We are unaware of any instances where a serious crime was reported to a cruise line and it was not reported to the FBI other appropriate law enforcement authority.

Even prior to the CVSSA, there were four congressional hearings on cruise ship safety (in 2006-2007). These hearings confirmed that the cruise industry was complying fully with the federal crime reporting requirements based on testimony from the USCG and the FBI.

The safety of passengers and crew is the cruise industry’s number one priority and it is vigilant about taking action to prevent, address and report all serious crimes as required under the law. Passengers on a cruise ship are at no greater risk from crime than they are anywhere they may decide to travel, and this is supported by the statistical data. It is unfortunate that media outlets rely on insights and statistics developed by a small minority of vocal, biased critics of the cruise industry that have not been reviewed or validated by any federal law enforcement agencies and present them as the truth.

: Predators at Sea.” There are numerous distortions and inaccuracies about the cruise industry. It is important we set the record straight.

The story notes that 2010 was the first time that public reporting of crimes on board American cruise ships was required as a result of Congressional legislation. In fact, the legal requirement for cruise ships to report serious crimes was first established in 1996, which covers any ship sailing to or from the U.S., and also requires reports of crimes involving Americans on foreign ships in foreign waters. In 2007, the industry entered into an agreement with the USCG and FBI, where reporting procedures were further standardized. The reporting procedures require that when an alleged crime is reported, cruise lines notify the FBI, US Coast Guard, Flag State, and local law enforcement authorities.

Also, the crime reporting requirement doesn't just apply to ‘American’ ships as was reported during the story — it applies to ANY ship that sails to or from the United States. It also requires reporting of crimes committed by or against Americans on foreign ships when on the high seas or in foreign waters or ports.

Congress passed the Cruise Vessel Security and Safety Act (CVSSA) in 2010, which expanded reporting to missing persons and stiffened penalties for non-reporting of the most serious crimes. CLIA worked with Congress to assist in the development and enactment of the CVSSA, which codified many existing CLIA member security programs to establish the most comprehensive set of laws to protect cruise ships passengers to date.

Finally, the story makes the claim that most crimes aren’t reported by the cruise lines. This statement is reckless and false. Cruise lines report all serious crimes, as required by the CVSSA, immediately to the FBI or other appropriate law enforcement authority. We are unaware of any instances where a serious crime was reported to a cruise line and it was not reported to the FBI other appropriate law enforcement authority.

Even prior to the CVSSA, there were four congressional hearings on cruise ship safety (in 2006-2007). These hearings confirmed that the cruise industry was complying fully with the federal crime reporting requirements based on testimony from the USCG and the FBI.

The safety of passengers and crew is the cruise industry’s number one priority and it is vigilant about taking action to prevent, address and report all serious crimes as required under the law. Passengers on a cruise ship are at no greater risk from crime than they are anywhere they may decide to travel, and this is supported by the statistical data. It is unfortunate that media outlets rely on insights and statistics developed by a small minority of vocal, biased critics of the cruise industry that have not been reviewed or validated by any federal law enforcement agencies and present them as the truth.

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