During the past couple of months, European shipowners’ associations have dramatically changed their attitudes towards armed on-board guards. Before, many countries agitated to get national soldiers on the ships, now most consider private guards a more flexible solution.
“There is no doubt that most European countries are making steps towards using private armed guards. Very few countries remain that sticks to soldiers. Two months ago, everybody was focusing on having guards from the military on board; so we have seen a change in attitude”, says Jan Fritz Hansen, Deputy Director General of the Danish Shipowners’ Association and Chairman of the ECSA (European Community Shipowners’ Association) ant-piracy task force.