Witness Seminar 3 & 4: Policing Piracy

  • Co-Ordinator: Professor Kim Stevenson
  • Chair: Professor Judith Rowbotham
  • Consultant: Michael Kandiah, Kings College London


to revisit issues relating to the policing of modern piracy through the recollections of those who were closely involved including international negotiators, security experts, police and representatives from the UK Joint Forces HQ, to record the details of their experiences and memories by hosting two panel sessions, one focusing on international responses and the other on local and regional responses.


The event was hosted by the University of Plymouth in association with the Institute for Contemporary British History, King’s College, London, it was organised as part of the Annual ESRC Research Festival of Social Science 2016 on the theme Pirates, Entrepreneurs and Visionaries – Social Sciences in the Twenty-First Century. This witness seminar comprised two separate panels:

Morning Panel: Policing Piracy 1: The International Picture, Politics and Strategies Post 1989

This panel explored international responses and policing to modern day piracy and shiphijacking including incidents involving Somali and Malay pirates in the Gulf and Indian oceans. Panel Witnesses included:
  • David Thomas, Merchant Shipmaster (retired)
  • Martin Morgan, Terra Firma Risk Management
  • Patrick Dowsett, Royal Naval Officer (retired)
  • Jason Lowther, Associate Professor, School of Law, Criminology and Government


Afternoon Panel: Policing Piracy 2: Modern Piracy and Smuggling in the South West

This second panel explored the policing of smuggling and profiteering in the south west and the responses of the police to the smuggling of people and commodities including the clandestine landing of people and drugs on local beaches as well as the first responses to the grounding of the Napoli at Branscombe beach in 2007 and subsequent profiteering. Panel Witnesses included:

  • Jim Gale, Superintendent, Devon and Cornwall Police
  • Nick West, Detective Inspector, Devon and Cornwall Police
  • Paul Richards, Devon and Cornwall Police (retired)
  • Mike Williams, Visiting Research Fellow, School of Law, Criminology and Government

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