HOUSTON - The cruise ship industry is under fire on capitol hill for an issue Local 2 Investigates highlighted last year.
"Consumers have the right to know what we have learned before they book their first or next dream vacation," Senator John D. Rockefeller IV said, during a congressional sub-committee hearing.
Last August, Local 2 Investigates reported federal law makes it impossible for the public to gain access to information about crimes committed at sea.
According to a congressional report, our findings were confirmed. Only 31 out of more than 900 alleged crimes reported since 2011 to the FBI were made public. See report.
Currently, the FBI is only required to disclose crimes that have been solved, but the vast majority of cases go unsolved. The United States Coast Guard currently maintains the website that disseminates the information.
But passenger protection requirements, and crime data reporting may be changing with the introduction of the Cruise Passenger Protection Act.
The legislation, which has yet to become law, mandates cruise lines contact the FBI within four hours of an alleged crime. It also orders cruise ships to be outfitted with extensive video surveillance systems in public areas and for employees to safeguard video evidence.
In addition, the "Cruise Passenger Protection Act" requires more detailed and accurate crime statistics be available to the public online.
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