Commentaries

Project Kraken at 13: Has the UK’s Naval Neighbourhood Watch Failed?
Summer 2020 was a miserable one on the Channel. On 19 August, it was confirmed that a migrant’s life was lost, one week after the deployment of a Royal Air Force ‘submarine hunter’, a Boeing P8-A Poseidon, to the Channel to support Border Force in the face of burgeoning migrant ...
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Using crime script analysis to better understand piracy manifestations
By Bryan C. Peters Despite the undeniable social relevance of piracy, criminologist have lagged behind other fields in its study. In 2009, Forsyth, Gisclair and Forsyth aptly noted that, “most criminologists are landlocked…as if crime on the water did not exist”.Forsyth et al., “Waterborne crime: Examining contemporary piracy”, 669-670. Although ...
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Why are more small boats crossing the English Channel – and why are border forces struggling to stop them?
By Tim Edmunds and Scott Edwards The number of migrants crossing the English Channel in small boats has increased significantly – up to 4,343 this year compared with 857 in the same period last year. The number of lurid headlines calling for action has also increased significantly but the issue ...
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Mauritius oil spill: Was the government unprepared?
The devastating oil spill that wreaked havoc on Mauritius’ coastline raises the question of whether the response by the government was appropriate. Was the country unprepared for a disaster of this scale? Were officials over-confident or misjudged the risk? Evidence indicates that Mauritius was very well prepared; the event did ...
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Beirut explosion: the disaster was exceptional but events leading up to it were not
By Scott Edwards and Christian Bueger At the time of writing at least 100 people have lost their lives and a further 4,000 have been wounded following an explosion in the Port of Beirut. While the actual cause remains uncertain, the tragedy calls to attention the tremendous consequences of a ...
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What We Know About Corruption in the Maritime Sector
In the summer of 2019, I began to think about what we know about corruption in the maritime sector. My first impulse was to be found in popular culture. The second season of The Wire takes point of departure in a port. The series delves into criminal networks and the ...
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Brexit: how the UK is preparing to secure its seas outside the EU
Scott Edwards and Tim Edmunds recently wrote a short article for The Conversation, drawing upon insights from the SafeSeas Policy Brief 'Delivering Maritime Security after Brexit: time for a joined-up approach'. Four dinghies carrying 53 migrants who tried to cross the English Channel from France were intercepted by British and ...
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How to improve the delivery of capacity building? Insights from a coordination meeting
How can capacity building training for maritime security be better coordinated in West and Central Africa? This was the core question of a recent meeting - ‘Strategic Dialogue Workshop On West and Central Africa Maritime Security Training Capacity’ - held from 25 – 28 February 2020 in Accra, Ghana. The ...
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Brexit’s challenge to maritime security
By Timothy Edmunds and Barry J. Ryan The politics of Britain’s security after Brexit are contentious and fast moving. But most discussion has focused on the security of land. The security of the sea has received less attention. Featured image: “River Class patrol vessels”, Crown copyright 2019 via Royal Navy ...
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From coordination to command: making Thailand’s maritime security governance more efficient?
Safeseas Research Associate Scott Edwards recently had the opportunity to access insights from Thailand’s Maritime Enforcement Command Center (ThaiMECC). Previously the Maritime Enforcement Coordination Centre, the change of name is indicative of a new intended direction for the agency. ThaiMECC provides a new noteworthy example of Maritime Domain Awareness, which ...
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