By RIEL MAJOR
ALLEGED sexual assault remains the most reported criminal activity on board cruise ships according to international year-end statistics.
According to statistics released under the Cruise Vessel Security and Safety Act (CVSSA), there were a total of 34 reported incidents from October 1, 2018 to December 31, 2018 —22 of which were sexual assaults.
The numbers show that during the specified time period, there were two suspicious deaths; two assaults; and eight incidents of alleged theft of less than $10,000.
The statistics are published on the United States’ Department of Transportation website.
For the past three years, alleged incidents of sexual assault represented more than 60 percent of criminal activity reported by vessels under the CVSSA.
This trend follows for major cruise lines with routes to The Bahamas, like Carnival Cruise Lines and Royal Caribbean.
Up to September 30, 2018 there were 86 incidents reported – 60 of which were for sexual assault.
In 2017, 76 percent of reported crimes on board Carnival vessels were for sexual assault; as was 68 percent of crime reported on board Royal Caribbean vessels.
There was the same number of sexual assault incidents reported for that time period in 2017, out of 85 incidents. There was a total of 106 incidents reported for 2017.
In 2016, officials recorded 92 incidents with 62 of them for sexual assault.
Criminal activity statistics for cruise ships making stops in the United States has continued to climb since reporting requirements were changed in 2016 – making it mandatory to include all incidents of missing persons and alleged crime.
Prior to this, only incidents that were no longer under investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation were compiled and released through the US Transport Department.
In 2015, there was a total of 28 reported incidents - 13 of which were for sexual assault.