Tuesday, 12 August 2008

Britons abroad

Article from MSN UK

Bad behaviour by Britons abroad has seen a soaring number of arrests in Spain and France, Foreign Office (FO) figures have confirmed.

Britons on foreign trips have also particularly fallen foul of the authorities in Cyprus, the USA and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), the FO statistics showed.

Based on figures covering the period April 2006 to March 2007, the FO statistics showed that 2,032 Britons were arrested in Spain - 32% more than in 2005/06 and the highest number of any country visited.

Based on the number of Britons travelling to a particular country, the likeliest destination to be arrested was Cyprus, followed by the USA and UAE.

The FO said that many of the arrests abroad were due to "behaviour caused by excessive drinking" while many of the hospital stays in Thailand were the result of motorbike accidents.

Also, a number of UAE arrests were due to the area's zero-tolerance policy on drugs which affected Britons transiting the UAE on the way elsewhere.

In a separate survey, two thirds of British holidaymakers said they would be spending less on their foreign holiday preparations this year due to the credit crunch.

This has prompted concerns that people will opt out of getting comprehensive travel insurance, adding potential financial ruin to the trauma of experiencing a serious problem abroad.

Foreign Office minister Meg Munn said: "This report highlights what can go wrong on holiday. It is a reminder to all that taking out comprehensive travel insurance is a crucial part of your holiday planning and not something that should be sacrificed in order to save a few pounds.

"Helping British nationals in distress overseas is one of our most important tasks but many of the problems faced by holidaymakers are preventable. By carrying out some simple research on the laws, customs and health requirements of a country in advance, many people could prevent their holidays being ruined."

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