Thursday, 4 August 2011

Number of Brits arrested abroad falls 10%

Number of Brits arrested abroad falls 10%

The number of Britons arrested overseas has fallen by more than 10% over the past year, according to latest official figures.

Drug arrests have dropped by almost 20%, according to a new Foreign and Commonwealth Office British Behaviour Abroad report.

But FCO staff still handled 5,700 cases of Britons being arrested last year with Spain and US showing the highest figures.
Drug arrests continue to be a “significant problem” in some countries, particularly parts of South America and the Caribbean where a high proportion of total arrests are drug related.

The FCO report covers number of consular cases handled across the globe for the year to March 31.
It shows that the number of Britons hospitalised abroad increased to 3,752 cases, despite fewer people from the UK travelling abroad last year. 
The FCO Foreign Office is urging people to take out a comprehensive travel insurance policy before they go away this summer with previous research suggesting that 15% of Britons travel abroad uninsured.
The number of Britons hospitalised abroad increased, with Spain handling the most cases (1,024) followed by Greece.  But proportionally, Britons are most likely to be hospitalised in Thailand.
FCO staff handled 19,228 serious consular cases last year.

Europe minister David Lidington said: “We work hard to warn British nationals about the consequences of breaking the law abroad so it is really encouraging to see the overall number of cases of arrests and drug arrests falling. 
“But last year there were still 5,700 arrests of British nationals overseas. Prison conditions in some parts of the world can be very poor, overcrowded and, in some cases, dangerous and sentences can be much tougher than in the UK. 
“People are mistaken if they think the Foreign Office can get you out of jail.  We can’t, but we will work hard to try and ensure your safety, and that you get a fair trial.”