Brits abroad most likely to get arrested in Spain

Brits abroad most likely to get arrested in SpainAP Photo/ Gabriel Gallo

Spain is the country most likely for British tourists to be arrested, hospitalised or need consular assistance when on holiday, a report from the Foreign Office has found.

Last year, 1,745 UK holidaymakers or expats were detained in Spain followed by 1,272 in the US and 159 in France.

New figures have also shown that proportionate to visitor numbers, Brits abroad are also likely to be arrested in Thailand.

The total number of arrests worldwide was at 5,700 last year, dropping slightly from 6,439 the year before and 6,919 in 2008-09.

A poll from the Foreign Office found that two thirds of Britons don't always find out the laws of the country they're visiting before they travel, putting them at rish for crimes such as wearing camouflage in Barbados, making satirical jokes about the Thai royal family and wearing a bikini in the streets of Barcelona.

It also found that 32 per cent of Brits aren't aware that they would be prosecuted under local law if they broke the rules while abroad.

Minister for Europe David Lidlington 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.

'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.'

Jamaica, Norway, Argentina, Brazil, Serbia and Peru were the countries with the most drug arrests. The poll of 2,000 UK adults also found that 43 per cent of 18-24 year olds knew someone who had taken illegal drugs while abroad.

While the number of arrests fell last year, the number of Britons requiring hospital treatment abroad increased despite visitor numbers falling.

The number of sexual assaults on UK tourists abroad rose from 140 to 163, but the number of rapes fell from 155 to 132, with Egypt being the country where Brits were most likely to be sexually assaulted, followed by Turkey.

Last year the number of Britons losing or having their passports stolen fell from 27,272 in the previous year to 25,969.


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