Singapore-based anti-piracy watchdog ReCAAP Information Sharing Centre (ReCAAP ISC) stated in its annual report for 2014 that there was a 50% decrease in the number of incidents occurring at ports and anchorages in Indonesia.
A total of 39 incidents were reported as compared with 78 recorded in 2013. The drop in the number of incidents was attributed to the increase in patrols and presence of the Indonesian Navy in areas renowned for crime. In addition, Indonesian law enforcement agencies stepped up their efforts to target the perpetrators behind those who indirectly caused an overall deterrence to sea robbery and piracy.
Despite the lower numbers of incidents in 2014, the severity of them increased to Category 2 (CAT 2) or moderately significant incidents, which was a five-year high for the period between 2010 and 2014.
For instance, of the 13 CAT 2 incidents in 2014, three cases were reported in which the perpetrators were armed with guns and knives. In terms of crew treatment, five of the 13 CAT 2 incidents involved crew being held hostage, while there were three incidents that recorded crew being assaulted by the perpetrators.
ReCAAP ISC continues to reiterate the need for port authorities and enforcement agencies in Indonesia to establish their presence in ports and anchorages for surveillance and deterrence purposes. In the meantime, ship masters and crew can play their part in exercising vigilance when anchored or berthed.