Fewer UK expats overseas needing consulate assistance

Published:  19 Jul at 6 PM
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Recently released figures from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office indicate that the number of Brits abroad asking for help from British consulates is on the decrease.

The FCO’s yearly British Behaviour Abroad report revealed that consular staff was called to assist over 19,000 UK citizens in far-flung destinations over the 2012/2013 period. The figures show an overall decrease of three per cent, but some countries saw increases in more serious cases.

The good news is that the number of Brits arrested for drug crime dropped to a four-year low, showing a total decrease since 2009 of 34 per cent. Across the board, general detentions and arrests also fell by 21 per cent during the same period.

The bad news is that hospitalisation and deaths are on the increase, with 3,599 UK citizens hospitalised and over 6,000 deaths reported. Local police and consular initiatives in Spain are credited with a large fall in arrests, and local hospital authorities’ cooperation with consulates has reduced the number of hospitalisations.

However, more exotic destination such as the UAE, Thailand, India and Australia have reported an increase in Brits needing hospital stays, with a mix of cases including older expats and tourists with pre-existing conditions. Thailand’s hospitalisation rate has increased by 31 per cent, and death rates in the kingdom are up by the same high percentage.

The Balearics, the Greek Islands and Turkey are seeing fewer drug arrests, but drug usage is still a problem in Jamaica, France and Portugal. Arrests have increased in Italy, the UAE, the Netherlands and Canada.
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