Dutch Ships May Use Own Security in Piracy Battle

Posted by Audrey Graanoogst

Ministers Jeanine Hennis from Defense, Ivo Opstelten from Security and Justice, and Frans Timmermans from Foreign Affairs, notified Parliament, Monday, of their intent to propose new legislation, hopefully by the end of the year, allowing private security officers to guard Dutch merchant vessels along the coast of Somalia.

Currently Dutch merchant vessels are protected by so-called Vessel Protection Detachments (VDP’s) from the marine.

However ship-owners complain the VPD’s are too expensive at 5,000 euros a day for 11 marines and they’re not flexible.

The government announced as early as last year it was considering allowing private security on ships. The price for a VDP will not be lowered, but private security could be used on ships that don’t have enough space to harbor marines, or a VDP would be too expensive, or re-routing the ship would not be cost-effective.

Of the 175 VDP’s that can be deployed annually, last year the ministry of Defense received 64 requests, of which 19 were canceled in the end. It is not yet clear how many transports would benefit from private security, according to the letter. Furthermore, there’s no record of any Dutch ships that have been hijacked or boarded by Somali pirates last year.

The VVD supports the proposal of private security officers, but the PvdA needs more time to come to a census.

Via: http://www.nltimes.nl/

Original Article