It has been revealed that the government helped 19,000 Brits who found themselves in trouble overseas last year. These official figures were released this week by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in its annual British Behavior Abroad Report 2013. According to these figures, there was a slight drop in total assistance by 3 percent. That being said, there were some countries that actually saw a huge increase in the number of serious cases that were reported.
Thousands of British nationals find themselves in trouble overseas every year. In 2012-13, FCO consular staff found themselves offering support to Brits in places such as the United States and Spain. However, the real concern came from the United Arab Emirates, India and the Philippines. These nations saw a huge increase in the number of serious cases that were reported. This included hospitalizations and arrests.
This report shows that there was a significant drop in the number of Brits who were arrested abroad due to drug offenses. The FCO said that this statistic fell by at least 34 percent since 2009-10. On top of this, the number of general arrests of Brits overseas dropped by 21 percent during the same time period. Despite this, there are still several stats that the FCO would like to see fall. For example, during this same time period, some 3,599 Brits found themselves hospitalized while visiting overseas. There were also 6,000 reported deaths of British citizens abroad.
Spain has seen a huge decrease in the number of British tourists who have been arrested while on holiday. Unfortunately, reports of sexual assault and rape cases increased by 10 percent when compared to the 2011-12 . The top three countries with the most of these cases were Greece, Turkey and Spain. All of these areas tend to be popular with young Brits who enjoy these areas because of the nightlife.
Mark Simmonds, who is the FCO Office Minister said, “I am proud that our staff continue to offer vital support to thousands of British travelers and residents around the world. Each case can represent great distress for the individuals concerned and for their families. I encourage all British travelers to do everything they can to ensure a safe and enjoyable trip by taking some basic steps to prepare themselves before departure, including taking out comprehensive travel insurance and researching their destination.”
Mr Simmonds went on to say, “I am deeply concerned to see an increase in the number of reported rape and sexual assault cases involving British people. The priority for our consular staff is the safety and well being of British travelers and we will continue to work, including with other Governments and tour operators, to help to prevent further cases and provide all possible support for victims. This support includes explaining local procedures, accompanying people to the police station, helping them deal with local authorities and medical staff and contacting friends and family at home if that is wanted.”
For more information on how the FCO can help you while abroad please click HERE.
To see the number of Brits needing consular assistance abroad mapped please click HERE