Britons in trouble abroad
An FCO breakdown
Despite the high-profile nature of such incidents, the number of British visitors getting into trouble in the Caribbean is relatively small.
That’s according to the latest compilation called Britons in Trouble Abroad, published by the Foreign Office.
The compilation of incidents between April 2012 and March of this year indicate that the main trouble spots for British visitors are, in this order: Spain (10,263 incidents), the United States (3,087 incidents) and France (2,702).
This includes drug arrests or detentions, death, hospital treatment, attacks, a need for emergency travel documents and other incidents.
This is followed by incidents in the rest of Europe and in Thailand, with the Caribbean well below the 1,000-plus incident threshold in the table.
Checks by Caribbean Intelligence© indicate that the most incidents of Brits in trouble were in Jamaica – a total of 256.
This breaks down as 110 incidents listed under both drug arrests and “drugs arrests and detentions”, 69 emergency travel documents, 40 deaths and 21 hospitalisations.
Other Caribbean countries featuring in the Caribbean Intelligence© check indicate
· 152 incidents in Barbados (42 lost travel documents, 33 hospitalisations, 32 deaths and 20 in the drug arrests categories)
· 74 incidents in Cuba (mostly emergency travel documents and hospitalisations)
· 66 incidents in the Dominican Republic (18 hospitalisations, 16 deaths, 15 drugs arrests or detentions and 12 emergency travel documents)
· 59 in Trinidad (23 travel document incidents, 13 drug-related incidents and four deaths)
· 18 in St Lucia
· 12 in Belize and 11 in the Cayman islands
· Incident-free in Grenada and St Vincent and the Grenadines over the year
Globally, the Foreign Office said it helped 19,000 Britons abroad.
While this was a 3% decrease on the year before, the consular figures do indicate big increases in more serious types of cases.
“Overall arrests of Brits abroad for drug offences dropped to their lowest level for four years, with a decrease of 34% since 2009-10, and general arrests and detentions showed a 21% drop in the same period,” the FCO said.
“However, in the 2012-13 period, 3,599 British people were hospitalised and there were over 6,000 deaths of British people abroad.”
The FCO expressed concern about the rising number of Britons involved in rape and assault incidents.
Another trend was for older expats or tourists with pre-existing medical conditions needing treatment abroad.
The FCO said: “Although drug arrests have gone down, drugs remain a problem for many countries, including Jamaica, France and Portugal.”
It provided key tips to British travellers heading off for the summer: get comprehensive travel insurance, check health requirements and research your destination.