A local news station in Houston, Texas reports that there are problems with the manner that crimes on cruise ships are reported and investigated by the FBI.
KRPC Channel 2 in Houston aired a program yesterday that reported on the rape of a 56 year old Texas woman on at the last night of a cruise out of the port of Houston (Galveston). Like most rape cases on cruises, the FBI did not make an arrest.
The investigation by the news station revealed that the FBI disclosed that it investigated only 16 crimes all of last year. But the crime numbers "just don't add up," according to the news station. (We know that this is a bogus number of crimes because in years past, there has been testimony before Congress that hundreds of crimes occur each year during cruises).
The interesting thing revealed in this report was that the Port of Houston alone had 15 crimes reported just out of its port, so clearly the FBI's data of 16 cruise crimes for all cruises nationally is grossly understated.
This particular case involved an allegation that a cruise line employee (waiter) committed the rape. In our experience most shipboard rapes are committed by cruise employees with waiters, as well as cabin attendants and bartenders, the most likely ones to rape a passenger.
Ken Carver, CEO of the International Cruise Victims ("ICV") organization was interviewed during the program and stated: "True and accurate crime data needs to be available and released to the public . . . it is the cornerstone of accountability and safety for millions of Americans who chose to cruise each year."
But the cruise industry's organization that promotes cruising, the Cruise Line International Association ("CLIA"), says that everything's just fine. CLIA responded to the program by claiming that cruise lines have been reporting crimes pursuant to a law passed in 1996. This is a false statement as the first law requiring the reporting of crimes during cruises was not passed until 2010. But due to intense lobbying, the law was altered and permits the cruise lines to hide crimes unless the crimes were first reported to the FBI and then closed by the FBI.
The wording of the law permits over 95% of cruise ship crimes to remain secret - just like the cruise lines want.
Cruise lines have been hiding true crime statistics for decades. You will see more and more of these types of stories in the future.
To watch the video, click on the link here.
Photo credit: Wikimedia