Somali pirates are biding their time, a maritime security briefing has been told. Mary Harper, BBC Africa Editor, who has reported widely on events in the region, stated that Somali pirates are ‘sleeping’, and have not gone away. Growing political instability in Somalia and increasing global demands on national navies will continue to be the major contributing factors to on-going piracy activity in the medium-longer term, according to independent experts speaking at the security briefing in Hamburg for representatives from the shipping and maritime industries. Harper added, ‘The threat from pirates, which over the last few years has seen a number of major vessels seized, remains latent. Somali pirates are waiting for the west to relax its guard. If shipping organisations become complacent, it is likely the pirates will strike again. Somalia is becoming more politically fragmented with many different groups seeking to gain dominance over their area, which potentially creates a favourable environment for piracy.’ The event was organised by GoAGT, and its Chairman Admiral Philip Wilcocks said, ‘Growth in world economic output since the 1990s has driven an exponential expansion in maritime trade and this trend is set to continue. However, the main issue is that piracy in the Indian Ocean has not been eradicated, it has just been suppressed. Furthermore, economic pressures and wider global commitments may well constrain the world’s navies from their ability to sustain a significant presence in anti-piracy operations in this region.’
Brian Sims BA (Hons) Hon FSyI, Editor, Risk UK (Pro-Activ Publications) Beginning his career in professional journalism at The Builder Group in March 1992, Brian was appointed Editor of Security Management Today in November 2000 having spent eight years in engineering journalism across two titles: Building Services Journal and Light & Lighting. In 2005, Brian received the BSIA Chairman’s Award for Promoting The Security Industry and, a year later, the Skills for Security Special Award for an Outstanding Contribution to the Security Business Sector. In 2008, Brian was The Security Institute’s nomination for the Association of Security Consultants’ highly prestigious Imbert Prize and, in 2013, was a nominated finalist for the Institute's George van Schalkwyk Award. An Honorary Fellow of The Security Institute, Brian serves as a Judge for the BSIA’s Security Personnel of the Year Awards and the Securitas Good Customer Award. Between 2008 and 2014, Brian pioneered the use of digital media across the security sector, including webinars and Audio Shows. Brian’s actively involved in 50-plus security groups on LinkedIn and hosts the popular Risk UK Twitter site. Brian is a frequent speaker on the conference circuit. He has organised and chaired conference programmes for both IFSEC International and ASIS International and has been published in the national media. Brian was appointed Editor of Risk UK at Pro-Activ Publications in July 2014 and as Editor of The Paper (Pro-Activ Publications' dedicated business newspaper for security professionals) in September 2015. Brian was appointed Editor of Risk Xtra at Pro-Activ Publications in May 2018.