Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Governing Cruise Ships through Crime

Apparently even a cruise is no longer a way to escape from America's pervasive culture of fear. According to Kimi Yoshino's reporting in the LA Times, even these privileged vessels of the high seas now bristle with efforts to govern passengers through the problems of crime.

“Industry and law enforcement officials testified that between April 1 and Aug. 24, the FBI received 207 reports of serious crimes, including four missing Americans, 41 sexual assaults and 13 thefts of items valued at more than $10,000. Of the 18 open cases, 13 involve sexual assaults.”

“The Fort Lauderdale, Fla.-based Cruise Lines International Assn. announced the formation of a "Survivor Working Group," to be composed of victims or their families, senior-level cruise line executives and representatives of industry groups, who will meet quarterly.”

“Among the changes, Royal Caribbean is installing peepholes on cabin doors in its two newest ships and working on an existing ship. The company plans to install peepholes on doors of all its ships, a spokesman said.

“In addition, Royal Caribbean has hired female investigators and counselors, put suicide hotlines in place and required mandatory sexual harassment training. In January, the company will begin notifying guests of a shipboard policy that crew members are not to fraternize with customers.

“Additionally, cameras are being installed in hallways and corridors, though Bald conceded that those cameras were not being monitored.”

Predictably, politicians are jumping on this new opportunity to manifest their concern for the public.

"I firmly believe that to do justice to the noble victims who have so bravely shared their stories, we must take definitive action," [Rep. Doris] Matsui [(D-Sacramento)] said. "There have to be better mechanisms for crime prevention and better systems for handling the crimes when they occur."
“On Monday, Matsui and other lawmakers introduced the Protect Americans From Crimes on Cruise Ships Resolution recognizing the lack of federal regulation of crime reporting, absence of law enforcement officials and lack of information made available to cruise customers. No legislation has been introduced to specifically address the issue, but Matsui and others have expressed interest in drafting such a bill at the request of victims.”

1 comment:

John Smith said...

Well, as inevitable as many things, there will always be those people who takes advantage of other people. Crimes are everywhere and I don't think that eradicating it is the best solution but to fight it instead. The great thing is that those with cruise ship jobs are very responsible and screened very well and are well trained to ensure a passenger and his belongings safety.