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Security Journal

, Volume 31, Issue 2, pp 548–569 | Cite as

Piracy for ransom: the implications for situational crime prevention

  • Jon M. Shane
  • Eric L. Piza
  • Jason R. Silva
Original Article

Abstract

Maritime piracy has been a worldwide problem for decades before starting gradual declines around 2011. Situational crime prevention (SCP) techniques have been shown to reduce successful pirate attacks (Shane and Magnuson 2014; Shane et al. 2015), suggesting that they may also be capable of reducing violent ransom hijackings. This study uses data from the International Maritime Bureau to examine (1) which vessels are most at risk of a pirate attack and ransom demand; (2) the relationship between attacks for ransom and violence; (3) which countries experience the most attacks for ransom; (4) the effect of SCP on injuries during attack; and (5) the effect of SCP on ransom demands. The findings show that SCP is a useful strategy for reducing episodes of ransom and injuries, highlighting how SCP techniques can be adapted in unique environments when other traditional crime control resources are unavailable.

Keywords

Opportunity Shipping industry Situational crime prevention Vessel security Piracy for ransom 

Notes

Acknowledgements

We wish to acknowledge Dr. Bridget L. Coggins, Professor of Political Science, University of California Santa Barbara, for collating and making available part of the original data set from which we worked, and the anonymous review members who made this a stronger contribution to the literature.

Funding

This research was funded by the City University of New York (award number PSC-CUNY 69583-00-47, July 1, 2016).

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Copyright information

© Macmillan Publishers Ltd 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.John Jay College of Criminal JusticeNew YorkUSA

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