CSO Alliance Tackles Maritime Crime

By Michelle Howard
Monday, June 02, 2014

Network will facilitate a coordinated response to a major problem, utilizing the latest interactive web-based tools to offer the maritime sector “security through community”.

CSO Alliance, a global digital network dedicated to serving Company Security Officers (CSOs), has been launched to provide a ‘real time’ coordinated approach to the increasingly multi-faceted fight against maritime crime.

The community is designed to utilize the latest online and interactive tools to enable maritime CSOs to meet, share market intelligence, and assess the mutual risks their crews and assets face on a daily basis in multiple regions. CSO Alliance shares valuable human insight and transposes it within a private and secure platform where over 12,000 CSOs – managing the security of 120,000 maritime assets – can interact.  

Geospatial mapping is used to document incidents and attacks against ships, crew and cargo from around the world, aligned with an intuitive database. Reports are provided by CSOs, in addition to over thirty regular sources, before being verified by an expert team, with each contributor vetted and credited.  

Mark Sutcliffe, Director of CSO Alliance, commented, “Security threats to the industry are no longer exclusive to East African piracy, although that is what the media has focused on in recent years. Ongoing attacks and robberies, some with extreme use of violence, in West Africa, the Malacca Straits and Central and South America, as well as a the growing threat of smuggling, theft and corruption has become widespread and omnipresent across the industry has made it increasingly clear that effective intelligence has become the preserve of the wealthy ship owner.

“The uniqueness of the Alliance lies in its increasing number of users, leveraging the suite of tools that accompany geospatial mapping to share intelligence, ideas and comments in a “real time” forum. While Captains rely on VHF to protect one another, CSOs now have their own web-based tool to instantly pick up on issues. Vitally, Captains relaying an incident via their CSO and the Alliance can inform an entire region in an instant. This communication feed is constantly qualified by the CSO peer group review and referenced with the relevant military sources. There are numerous intuitive forums dedicated to specific topics to share and develop learning and innovations within groups. This saves CSOs time, their companies’ money, and – potentially – lives. Combined, these elements form a global community of CSO professionals who can now achieve security through community.”

CSO Alliance member Benny Low, Group Security Manager of Thome Ship Management, Singapore, added, “We hope that the CSO Alliance, other than providing an international platform for CSO(s) around the globe to share Best Management Practices and communicate among themselves, will eventually flourish with sufficient memberships to push ahead unity and acts as the Main ‘Security Body’ to present the Merchant Maritime Security Regime to provide a ‘clear voice’ in the IMO Security Conventions. Ultimately, becoming a body to enrich, self-actuate and regulate for the common objective to keep the world safer for the International Seafaring Career.

Rob Twell, former CSO with CMA-CGM, continued, “I supported the Alliance from day one, as although I met CSOs at events, when we talked informally we achieved so much more, so for me the Alliance brings this positive interaction online. The library of data, the networking of member CSOs and through them their Captains, to live incidents where they can all comment on breaking news, with multi media from the event, is a great step forward in developing merchant marine situational awareness.”


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