NEWS: Brits behaving badly

Everyone has crazy vacation stories where you and your buddies drank too much, perhaps someone got arrested, fell in a river or slept with someone who’s name you never knew to begin with, let alone remember now. They’re probably some of your most (un)memorable and amusing stories. After all, that’s what going on holiday is all about, right?

It seems the Brits are notorious for bad behavior while on holiday — or perhaps they’re the only ones sensible enough to make an official governmental report about it.

 In August, the British Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) released their third annual British Behaviour Abroad report.

Pretty sad stuff. The BBC
did an interview with Foreign Office Minister Meg Munn, where she discussed the high incidence of women getting raped and other incidents, like losing your passport because of excess drinking while on holiday. She further mentioned their consular office in Greece has begun campaigns where they’ve put information on beer coasters in bars to make vacationers aware of the dangers of drinking excessively while on holiday.

Here are some of the report’s troubling highlights for 2006-2007:

  • Spain had the most British die while on holiday (1,591), arrested (2,032), hospitalized (695) and raped (29).

  • Arrests in Spain represent a 33% rise from the year before.

  • Proportionately (whatever that means) Brits were most likely to be arrested in Cyprus, followed by the US and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). (Arrests in UAE were said to be linked to low tolerance of alcohol-related activities, driving offenses and perceived anti-Islamic behavior.)

  • 153 Brits were arrested in France, which represents 42% more than the year before.

  • Indonesia only had two reported deaths, the lowest of the 15 countries surveyed, and had no reported rapes.

  • Pakistan was the only country surveyed that did not report any hospitalizations. It also reported zero rapes.

  • The Netherlands arrested the least Britsonly 16. (Anyone who’s been to the red-light district in Amsterdam might find this surprising, considering the disproportionate number of British stag parties there on any given night.)

The FCO strongly urged travelers to “check local laws and customs” of their destination before traveling, as what is acceptable in one country may not be acceptable in other countries. (Amazing isn’t it? Laws in other countries are, do I dare say it, “different” from ours. Who would’ve thought.) They give some interesting examples, such as:

– camouflage clothing is illegal in some Caribbean countries

– nasal sprays are illegal in Japan.

From what I remember, carrying mace is illegal in Denmark  and Norway, perhaps. And for those who remember the Michelle Palmer and Vince Acors case  — it’s also illegal to copulate on the beachy sands of Dubai. I would think public sex anywhere is illegal? But it’s sure fun to try.

We tried looking for other countries’ “Behaviour Abroad Reports,” but couldn’t find them. Perhaps they’re called something else? Anyone know of any?

– JD

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