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Comparison of Alleged Violent Crime Rates at Sea and on Shore

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The above calculations were prepared by criminologist James Alan Fox, Ph.D. of Northeastern University and represent nearly 90% of the ocean-going cruise industry in North America.  According to Dr. Fox:

"A benchmark for assessing the relative safety (in terms of violent crime risk) aboard ship compared to that on shore within the U.S. is provided by the Uniform Crime Reports (UCR) collected by the FBI after aligning offense categories as closely as possible and matching populations at sea and on land by exposure time.

"Based on FBI data, rates of homicide, forcible rape, and aggravated assault per 100,000 population for 2010 through 2012 combined for all law enforcement agencies and various population groupings within the United States were used for comparison. These rates for the three crime categories are shown in Table 2.

"Tables 1 and 2 can be compared in terms of crime rates at sea and on land. As should be clear, the rate of crime (and thus the risk) aboard cruise ships is appreciably lower than corresponding rates on land. There were no homicides aboard cruise ships from the three companies represented during the data window, compared to many on land. The rates of rape on cruise ships is less than a quarter of that for the UCR overall, while the rate of assault with serious bodily injury on cruises is a tiny fraction of the aggravated assault rate in U.S. jurisdictions of all sizes.

"By any measure, travel by sea aboard commercial cruise lines is exceptionally safe in terms of the risks associated with criminal activity."