Number of sexual assaults on Britons abroad rises

Spain highest number of cases, followed by Turkey and Greece. Picture: Getty
Spain highest number of cases, followed by Turkey and Greece. Picture: Getty
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The number of Britons raped or sexually assaulted abroad rose last year, according to Foreign Office figures.

Rapes of Britons travelling abroad or resident in foreign countries increased from 127 in 2011/12 to 138 in 2012/13, while sexual assaults rose from 154 to 172.

The highest number of rapes and sexual assaults in 2012/13 were in Spain, followed by Turkey and Greece.

In all, a total of 19,244 Britons needed consular assistance abroad in 2012/13 – slightly fewer than in 2011/12 when the figure was 19,874.

Drug arrests abroad involving Britons dipped from 816 in 2011/12 to 653 in 2012/13 – well down on the annual figures at the end of the last decade which were more than 990.

Total arrests, including arrests for drugs, were 5,435 in 2012/13 – a reduction on the 6,015 figure for 2011/12 and down on the 6,919 total in 2008/09.

Deaths of Britons abroad in 2012/13 totalled 6,193 – slightly down on the previous 12-month period, while the number needing hospital treatment also fell slightly to 3,599.

Cases of lost or stolen passports and travel documents reached 28,783 in 2012/13 – a slight rise on the 28,659 in 2011/12.

Spain was far and away the country in which Britons needed consular assistance the most, followed by the USA and France.

But calculated on the number of assistance cases divided by the number of British visitors and residents, the Philippines was the destination where Britons were most need of help, followed by Thailand and Pakistan.

Foreign Office Minister Mark Simmonds said he was proud of the work of consular staff.

He added: “I am deeply concerned to see an increase in the number of reported rape and sexual assault cases involving British people.

“The priority for our consular staff is the safety and wellbeing of British travellers and we will continue to work, including with other governments and tour operators, to help to prevent further cases and provide all possible support for victims.

He continued: “This support includes explaining local procedures, accompanying people to the police station, helping them deal with local authorities and medical staff, and contacting friends and family at home if that is wanted.”