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New Report shows FCO helped thousands of British nationals overseas

British Behaviour AbroadNew figures show fall in some serious types of consular case, but FCO still helped over 17,000 British people last year.

The British Behaviour Abroad report 2014, published today, highlights that while millions of British nationals still travel abroad every year, there has been a decrease in some of the serious types of consular case in the past year.

The total number of hospitalisation cases handled by FCO staff in 2013/14 fell to its lowest level for five years, particularly in popular holiday destinations such as France, Thailand and Spain. Cases of rape and sexual assault reported to consular staff have also dropped significantly. The total number of rape cases reported was at its lowest level for a decade, with large falls in Spain and Turkey, and reported sexual assaults were down by almost 12% globally.

While total arrests saw a fall compared to 2012/13, drug arrests remain a problem in some countries, with Australia and Spain seeing a combined increase in recorded cases of more than 80%.

The report also shows increases in other areas. More British people are needing assistance in far-off destinations such as the Philippines, Australia, China and the United Arab Emirates. There was also a 15% rise in cases involving British nationals with mental health needs, an area where FCO staff are seeking to offer more support in line with the FCO’s consular strategy to do more for the most vulnerable.

Overall, FCO consular staff handled 17,517* assistance cases globally in 2013/14. Not all consular cases are preventable, but many of them are – which is why the FCO urges travellers to research their destination and prepare fully before departing for a trip abroad. The spread of cases across the world can be viewed on our interactive map.

Mark Simmonds, Minister for Consular Affairs, said:

With the summer holidays just around the corner, millions of people across the UK will be looking forward to taking a trip abroad. The vast majority will enjoy a trouble-free holiday, but for those who do encounter difficulties our consular staff are there to offer support."

“This year’s report has highlighted some encouraging downwards trends, and this allows our staff to concentrate more on supporting our most vulnerable customers. However, the FCO continues to help thousands of British nationals who get into trouble overseas every year."

“Not all consular cases are preventable, but for many travellers taking a few simple steps of preparation can reduce the risk of getting into trouble. Taking out comprehensive travel insurance, researching the country and health risks before you go and behaving responsibly when you arrive can all help to ensure that you remember your holiday for the right reasons.”

Other key findings highlighted in the British Behaviour Abroad Report 2014:

Although the overall number of arrests has decreased, some countries have seen an increase in cases, including the Philippines, Egypt and France;

With visitor figures and resident numbers taken into account, British residents are most likely to need assistance in the Philippines, Thailand and Jamaica;

The number of hospitalisation cases recorded in the Philippines has increased by 38% compared to 2012/13;

The number of recorded deaths globally fell significantly, largely because we no longer record death notifications (where the FCO has no involvement).

Please CLICK HERE to the read the British Behaviour Abroad report 2014 for further data.

What the FCO can do to help


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