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Paul Motter August 3rd, 2010 03:14 PM

First Cruise Crime Reports Revealed 08-3-10 Ft Lauderdale Sun Sentinal Publishes Initial Cruise "Crime" Reports

The Fort Lauderdale Sun Sentinel released a statement today saying it has published some of the initial reports of "crime upon cruise ships" as the cruise lines intend to report to the FBI under the new law. Here is the paper's statement...
When deaths, assaults, thefts and other incidents occur aboard cruise ships, cruise lines file reports with the FBI. The Sun Sentinel obtained copies of reports filed from December 2007 through October 2008 and created a searchable database, that makes this information available to the public for the first time. (Other requests for this data remain unfulfilled.)
In fact - these reports are very similar to what the cruise lines have been reporting to the FBI for years.

When we read through these reports at CruiseMates we think it is very important to point out that these are not crime reports, as they are called. These are listings of allegations of crime that people on cruise ships have made to people in charge on cruise ships. In no way should these be regarded as actual proven crime convictions or resolutions, except in cases where it says there was an arrest made followed by a conviction, or some kind of admission of guilt is on record.

In fact, most of these cases remain non-adjudicated, in many cases there was no follow-up at all by the request of the person filing the complaint. This means no determination that any crime was committed was ever made. In that light, we at CruiseMates hope someone with a criminal law enforcement background will look at these reports and render an opinion as to their validity and relevance in determining the true level of crime and/or safety on cruise ships.

The reports can be found here:

Snoozeman August 3rd, 2010 04:28 PM

I wonder if they report crimes in the FL amusement parks such as Disney and Universal? If they do for the cruise industry seems they should for all similar industry.

Paul Motter August 3rd, 2010 04:43 PM

I have searched for reports of crimes in amusement parks, and no, they do not report them.

But the reasoning there is that Disneyland is in a city, and you can look up crimes made in cities. The same is true of Las Vegas. And if you look up Las Vegas you will see it is far more dangerous per capita than a cruise ship. They dont even have balconies in Vegas anymore - at any height.

I think the better question is this - is it a crime just because someone makes an allegation?

I once did a radio interview with a San Diego radio host who actually said to me "well, if someone reported it there must have been a crime."

Guilty until proven innocent. All I can say is it is a good thing she doesn't live in Iran. And that I don't live there with her. There they would stone her to death for having an affair. And if you had an affair with her and she got caught - what would she say?

"He raped me?"

Mike M August 3rd, 2010 05:07 PM

Interesting reading.

The number of sexual assaults and inappropriate touching is interesting to see. I would like to see if people were brought up on charges and what the outcome was.

The majority of assaults seem to be "domestic violence" between family members.

The ones I don't have a lot sympathy for are people who put $xx,000 worth of jewelery in their "checked baggage" and have it supposedly stolen. Makes for a nice insurance claim.:roll:

The one I couldn't understand was:: "A woman said her cabin steward kissed her inappropriately during a massage." Why the heck are you letting your cabin steward give you massage? :rolleyes:

It does show that nowhere that there are large groups of people are you completely safe. You do have to use common sense and precautions.

Take care,

Paul Motter August 3rd, 2010 05:14 PM

I have not had time to really explore them yet, but it also shows that there were no murders, or people thrown overboard, etc.

Yes, there was a murder last year on a Carnival ship - a domestic event, and the FBI had about a dozen agents on the ship before it was within 50 miles of shore. They went out in a Coast Guard cutter and had the guy in handcuffs by the time the ship docked.

I saw a very similar report back in 1998, and the number if "iappropriate touching" reports was just laughable. This is "crime?"

"My waiter touched me while putting my napkin in my lap" well, stop reaching for your wine glass.

I'm sorry, I don't mean to dismiss valid claims, but by the same token, you can't possibly take all of these seriously either.

I think the point is that these reports tell us practically nothing we didnt know already.

Trip August 3rd, 2010 05:17 PM

I read this the other day,and was struck by all the thefts. Granted someones engagement ring could be worth $16,000, but, to carry mulitiple items valued at that much, seems not the smartest thing to do.

A city at sea, with all the the bad scenarios that happen on land, and the bad people that do them:(

Lakers Fan August 3rd, 2010 08:19 PM

This may be a naive question so please excuse it ,but other than ships officers are there any secuity officers aboard cruise ships ?

Paul Motter August 3rd, 2010 08:57 PM

Most big cruise ships have security guards, but there is nothing like an organized police force on a ship. The staff captain is usually charged with "maintaining order" onboard, and would discipline a crewmember (especially) or could "arrest" a guest if they caused trouble.

In all cases the captain is ultimately responsible for the "law" at sea. By international maritime law he has the final word on what happens on a ship, within reason of course. He is not allowed to maltreat a crewmember in the name of corporeal punishment, for example, but he can definitely decide who gets held under arrest, or let go. He can put people off the ship for any reason.

The security guards are basically like mall cops - they are there to make sure no one gets out of line, but they are basically civilians like everyone else. It is their job to get involved when there is trouble, and they would probably be given the consideration of a legal peace officer if they had to use brute force to subdue a dangerous person. But if they made a mistake and accosted someone who turned out to be innocent they could also be sued pretty easily.

They have to answer to the superior officers onboard - they cannot arrest the captain, for example.

Lakers Fan August 3rd, 2010 09:00 PM

Thanks ,Paul

Paul Motter August 3rd, 2010 09:06 PM

For those who may be wondering - there is also nothing like an International Police Force that can make arrests at sea in international waters. Some people mistakenly believe Interpol is a law enforcement agency but in fact they are more like an intelligence community with no power to make an arrest. Their role is to monitor the international movements of world criminals and keep local officials informed of their whereabouts.

Dave Beers August 3rd, 2010 10:50 PM

Americans might be surprised to learn that in many cases, a police officer has no more right to arrest someone than any other citizen has. For example, a sworn police officer cannot arrest someone for a non-felony unless they observed the violation.

Paul Motter August 4th, 2010 01:07 AM

That's actually a very significant argument as to why cruise lines often "don't do anything" when someone comes and complains to them about the littler things.

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