Piracy is “a stain on our world,” says PM

The prime minister has announced that armed guards will be allowed on British merchant ships to tackle Somalian piracy.

Previously, shipping relied on anti-piracy measures such as using barbed wire and water cannons to ward off pirates, as well as travelling in convoys for safety. Also, warships from the joint naval task force EU NAVFOR patrol the area.

Ascot, Griffin, Marketform and RSA have all shown interest in another anti-piracy scheme, the Convoy Escort Programme (CEP). The JLT-backed initiative aims to provide armed patrol boats to escort shipping through piracy-stricken areas such as the Gulf of Aden. The insurers would provide war risk and kidnap & ransom cover.

“The fact that a bunch of pirates in Somalia are managing to hold to ransom the rest of the world and our trading system, I think is a complete insult, and so the rest of the world needs to come together with much more vigour,” Cameron said on the Andrew Marr show on Sunday.

He added that piracy around the Horn of Africa was “a complete stain on our world.”

Maritime security firm Haymarket Risk Management said the decision is likely to save millions of pounds for businesses and economies.

Haymarket maritime risk specialist John Bisseru said: “Prevention is the way forward and qualified and trained armed guards will be a significant step. There will obviously have to be detailed discussions with the Home Office regarding the provision and security of weapons on board civilian vessels but this a welcome, logical and sensible development.”