New figures reveal Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) assistance of Brits abroad
Official figures released by the FCO have revealed that there has been a drop in the number of Britons requiring help abroad dropped by 3%. Examples of the work that consular staff do include issuing emergency travel documents, supplying lists of local lawyers and contacting friends & family back home.
Despite the overall drop, some countries such as India, UAE and the Philippines saw an increase in serious cases such as arrests and hospitalisations – demonstrating the importance of respecting local laws and having comprehensive travel insurance. Spain, the country most popular with British tourists and expatriates, has seen a significant decrease in arrests, detentions and hospitalisation cases – mainly due to local initiatives involving FCO staff, police and hospital authorities.
Foreign & Commonwealth Office Minister Mark Simmonds, said:
“I am proud that our staff continue to offer vital support to thousands of British travellers and residents around the world. Each case can represent great distress for the individuals concerned and for their families. I encourage all British travellers 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.”
Other than Spain, the countries that saw decreases in numbers of assistance cases include America, Greece, Italy and New Zealand. The FCO’s Know Before You Go campaign encourages British nationals to prepare for travelling abroad so they can avoid preventable problems, full details of the programme can be found on the FCO website ( https://www.gov.uk/knowbeforeyougo ).
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