Shipping: Armed Guards

House of Lords written question – answered on 3rd July 2012.

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Photo of The Bishop of Wakefield The Bishop of Wakefield Bishop

To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to use armed contractors to protect British-registered vessels transiting the Gulf of Aden from Somali pirates.

Photo of Earl Attlee Earl Attlee Lords Spokesperson (Department for Transport), Lord in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip)

The UK Government recognise that the engagement of armed guards is an option to protect human life onboard UK registered ships from the threat of piracy, but only in exceptional circumstances and where it is lawful to do so.

The decision to use armed guards is one for shipping companies to make following completion of a full risk assessment and the submission of a counter-piracy plan to the Department for Transport.

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