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Home Department written question – answered on 29th November 2011.

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Photo of Kevan Jones Kevan Jones Shadow Minister (Defence)

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department pursuant to the oral answer of 14 November 2011, Official Report, column 564, on piracy, what the legal status of security personnel stationed on UK-registered merchant ships off the horn of Africa will be; what rules of engagement will be issued to them; and what guidance they will be given on working with UK armed forces personnel deployed off the horn of Africa.

Photo of James Brokenshire James Brokenshire The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department

Following the Prime Minister’s confirmation last month that the Government now recognise the engagement of private armed guards as an option to protect human life onboard UK registered ships in exceptional circumstances, the Department for Transport, the Home Office and other Government Departments are working to finalise national guidance to shipowners and an interim process by which private security companies can lawfully possess prohibited firearms onboard UK ships in these exceptional circumstances. It is expected that the guidance will be published shortly and a written ministerial statement will be made at that time.

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