Maritime Security Companies UK

An overview

The maritime security sector has exploded in recent years and Great Britain, with its proud maritime tradition is unsurprisingly at the forefront of this development.  This was highlited recently in a Huffpost article.  The UK is home to companies such as Solace Global Maritime Ltd and Spirit Security Services, considered to be world leaders in providing what is known as Maritime Security Solutions.  Of course with the requirement for maritime security is nothing new, nor is the provision of it by private means. 

Why now? 

To date no ship with a private security team has been successfully hijacked

Maritime Security Companies UK - the office

Anti Piracy companies UK

Companies conducting what can be described as Anti Piracy Services based in the UK, called variously Private Security Companies (PSCs) or private military companies (PMC), provide personnel Privately Contracted Armed Security Personnel (PCASP) who will be based temporarily on board ships while they transit through areas of potential threat.  Former members of  The Armed Forces of Great Britain has been a traditional feeding ground for PSCs and with the drying up of work on the Iraq and Afghanistan ‘circuits,’ more are turning to this type of employment.  Ex UK Special Forces, such as Special Boat Service, Special Air Service or the Royal Marines personnel have always commanded a premium and have directly transferable skills in this field.   

A list Maritime Security Companies based in the UK

The following is a list in no particular order of companies operating out of the UK.

  • Spirit Security Services
  • Maritime Asset Security and Training Ltd
  • Solace global Maritime Ltd
  • Transafe Maritime UK Ltd
  • Regal Maritime Solutions
  • Blue Mountain Group
  • 3RG
  • Sea Marshals
  • G4S
  • Ocean Protection Services
  • Brittania Maritime Security
  • Bancroft Maritime Security Solutions

Maritime Security Companies Definition

Maritime Security encompasses protection and related services of any assets maritime based assets.  It is far more than armed men trying to stop other armed men from hijacking a ship!  Examples of maritime assets that often require the services of such firms are: oil infrastructure, super yachts and commercial shipping.  Services start with consultation and advice and work up through training and equipping naval assets for operation in various threat environments.  MSCs can provide personnel and resources to protect vulnerable assets, these are of course scalable and start with a small team with limited optics and range to armed escort vessels.  The work of MSCs in high threat environments is often close to and with regular military forces.  Indeed one task is to maintain a situational awareness and inform naval assets of problems or suspicious vessels. 

Maritime Security Companies UK: Poole

Poole, on the south Coast of the UK is home to a number of MSCs.  It is also home to the UK Special Boat Service, organisations whose former members have been active in this sector and have a reputation for unrivalled excellence.

Maritime security companies legal position

Maritime security companies UK

It was only in 2011 that the Governments of the UK and US formally approved the use of privately contracted armed guards on ships, some governments, notably Germany, have refused to take this step.  This reticence can be explained by the complicated legal issues surrounding the sector and the difficulty in regulation posed to governments.