The Cruise Vessel Security and Safety Act (CVSSA) statistical FBI compilation for the last quarter (April 1, 2012 – June 30, 2012) is out.
And if you are inclined to believe the FBI statistics, being on a cruise ship is the safest place on planet earth. According to the crimes disclosed by the FBI, over the last three months of the reporting period only two crimes occurred on the 200 cruise ships or so operated by the twenty-six cruise lines operating under the trade banner of the Cruise Line International Association (CLIA).
The crimes which the FBI chose to disclose? One suspicious crew member death on a Carnival cruise ship, and one sexual assault on a Royal Caribbean ship. You can look at the database here.
If you can read the microscopic text of the database, you may think: Wow, 3 – 4 millions passengers cruising a quarter and only one or two crimes?
But the truth is far different. We know from attending non-stop Congressional hearings over the last 7 years, that these two incidents are only a small fraction of the actual crimes which historically occur. Our little firm alone represents more cruise passengers than this victimized over the last six months.
We represent young women violently raped by two men on both a Carnival and a Royal Caribbean cruise ship. But you will find no mention of these violent and devastating crimes by the FBI or cruise line, anywhere. The FBI database is bogus. And you can read about other cruise crimes here, here, here, here, here, here, here. But don’t bother to look for them on the FBI list of cruise crimes. There is no mention of them. And that is exactly how the cruise lines want it.
In years past, we listened to Congressional testimony and read FOIA requested information where literally hundreds of sexual assaults on cruise ships were revealed. So why have only 2 crimes been reported in the last quarter and only 5 crimes reported for all of 2012?
As we explained in prior articles, the cruise industry and the FBI teamed up to alter the language of the crime reporting bill which cruise victims had approved by both houses of Congress. But before the cruise crime bill passed into law, the cruise lines – with the assistance of the FBI – altered the language to exclude over 95% of crimes on cruise ships from being reported on the Coast Guard database.
What the FBI discloses now is a small fraction of the actual number of crimes.
In the U.S., the Uniform Crime Reporting ("UCR") requires all alleged crimes be disclosed to the public. But the cruise industry wants to keep the number of crimes secret. Behind the scenes, the cruise lines changed the law regarding cruise crimes such that only those crimes reported by the cruise lines, and disclosed to the FBI, and investigated by the FBI, and then closed by the FBI are included on the FBI database.
Crimes hidden from the FBI, or reported to state agencies or other governments, or those crimes reported to the FBI and ignored / not investigated by the FBI, or crimes reported to the FBI and the FBI keeps the files open indefinitely are not reported.
The bottom line? The FBI and the cruise lines are hiding 95% of the crimes from the public.
This serves as a great disservice to the cruising public.
If you are a travel agent, cruise specialist or concerned member of the public, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call me at 305 955-5300. I’ll be happy to discuss with you how we can work together to educate the public about the actual number of sexual assaults against women and children which occur routinely during cruises.
I have spent the last decade of my life watching the cruise lines try and hide dozens of crimes a year. It won’t work. They will never get away with it, no matter how many innocent people are hurt in the process. Help me keep the cruise lines honest, and your customers safe.
The next family with teenage girls and little kids walking up the gangway to a cruise ship deserve to know the truth.