NU Online News Service, June 25, 2:58 p.m. EDT
The marine-underwriting industry has grown frustrated with the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s cargo theft data collection efforts, according to a June 11 letter sent to the FBI by industry representatives.
In the letter, addressed to the unit chief of the FBI’s Criminal Justice Information Services Division (CJIS), The American Institute of Marine Underwriters (AIMU) and the Inland Marine Underwriters Association (IMUA) called current efforts “woefully inadequate and incomplete” and wrote that “the designed system and its form have been a failure.”
The letter comes amid industry dissatisfaction with a lengthy process designed to categorize the crime as a standalone offense, instead registering it as a subset of burglary within the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) program.
The AIMU had been working with Congress prior to 9/11 to push legislation regarding cargo crime data collection. Some of that work made it into the Maritime Transportation Act of 2002, but the end result lacked teeth, according to Peter Scrobe, chair of the AIMU Cargo Loss Prevention Committee and vice president of Starr Marine, division of Starr Indemnity & Liability Company.
The AIMU then attempted to advance cargo crime into the FBI’s UCR system, but implementation was delayed until January 2011, and even then, the crime was classified as a subset for other crimes, rather tan as a standalone incident report.
Scrobe says, “In our opinion, the FBI-CJIS efforts regarding implementation of Cargo Crime as a standalone incident in the UCR have failed.
“Cargo theft has been relegated to the back seat for many years because of the belief that it is a ‘no harm, no foul’ crime,” says Scrobe.
Now that the industry has notified the federal bureau of its discontent, it plans to once again testify in front of Congress that further changes must be made to monitor cargo theft.
“We don’t know how long it will take to see any further changes,” says Scrobe. “Our idea is not to throw darts at the FBI, but to get this done correctly so that it works for all of us.”