21/02/2012 15:24 GMT | Updated 21/02/2012 15:26 GMT

Britain To Set Up Intelligence Centre to Tackle Somali Pirates

Britain is to fund a new anti-piracy intelligence centre in the Seychelles to co-ordinate action against Somali pirates, Foreign Secretary William Hague has announced.

The new centre will co-ordinate and analyse intelligence on the pirates with a view to providing useable evidence for prosecutions in courts in the region and beyond.

Speaking ahead of the London Conference on Somalia on Thursday, Mr Hague said the UK would provide £550,000 to build the centre as well as supplying its first director.

"The establishment of a new intelligence co-ordination centre will allow the international community to target the king-pins of piracy and ensure piracy does not pay," Mr Hague said.

"For too long, the international community has focused its efforts on the young desperate men who are sent out to sea, without seeking to hold to account those who finance and enable huge pirate operations."

Britain is also providing £150,000 through the United Nations to help create a maritime security co-ordination office in a stable part of Somalia to co-ordinate action on the ground against the pirates.