Friday 03 February 2023

Guards on ships should be defence-ministry trained: captains

Armed security guards used to protect Dutch ships against pirates should be trained and supervised by the defence ministry, according to the captains’ association NVK.

NVK chairman Alex van Binsbergen told the NRC captains are concerned that shipping companies want the speedy deployment of private guards, and that these would be the responsibility of the captains themselves.

‘This means captains would have to give the order to open fire. This is not part of their training and yet they could end up facing criminal prosecution for their actions,’ Van Binsbergen told the paper.

Two weeks ago the cabinet agreed that private security guards could be used to protect ‘certain categories of transport… under certain conditions.’

The shipping industry welcomed the move and called for legislation to be introduced as soon as possible. At the moment, members of armed forces are used to protect Dutch ships.

The Netherlands is one of the few EU countries not to allow private security guards to protect its maritime interests, the paper said.

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