The number of Britons feeling apprehensive about stepping out of the comforts of their country is increasing every year, thanks to the numerous issues they face abroad. And by issues, we don’t mean petty matters like thefts, but more serious problems like drug abuse and sexual assaults which sadly, have become quite common in several tourist destinations around the world. And Britons reportedly, are the most targeted for these heinous crimes.
As reports suggest, between the years 2012 and 2013, nearly 310 British people requested for consular assistance after being sexually assaulted abroad. This figure includes over 172 Britons who were sexually assaulted (12 percent increase from last years’ 154) and 138 Britons who were actually raped (9 percent increase from last years’ 127). Overall, nearly 3,599 British people required help on being hospitalized just last year.
Surprisingly, the countries where most of these crimes happened were popular tourist destinations like Turkey, Spain and Greece. Spain recorded the highest number with 39 requests for consular assistance following a sexual assault. And most of these cases were concentrated in Majorca, Ibiza and other areas of the Balearic Islands. Accordingly, Spain alone recorded a total of over 4658 requests for consular assistance in 2013.
Foreign Office Minister Mark Simmonds is reported to have been deeply disturbed to learn about the increase in the number or cases related to the sexual assault of Britons in these countries. He has urged the consular staff to work along with other tour and government operators to ensure the safety of Britons traveling to these countries in addition to offering them the necessary support to handle these issues and their aftermath.
These include providing an insight into the country’s’ local procedures, offering necessary help in dealing with the local authorities, taking them to the police station and hospitals, dealing with medical staff and helping them contact their family members back home in case the situation arises.
Even though the number of sexual assault cases and Britons asking for support for the same has increased, the number of Britons asking for help in dealing with other issues like drug offences and arrests related to the same, has come down to 653 in 2013, indicating a 34 percent decrease from 2010. The total number of Britons who were arrested for these issues also came down to 5435 from 6919 in 2010 (12 percent decrease).
Another area where Britons ask for consular assistance when abroad is related to getting help from the necessary authorities to deal with the death of a friend or family member abroad. And according to reports, the number of Britons asking for this service has come down to 6193 in 2013 from 6237 in 2010.