FCO offers supporting hand to Brits around world

FCO offers supporting hand to Brits around world

British Foreign & Commonwealth consular staff helped 46 people a day around the world in needed of serious assistance in 2014/2015 new figures have revealed.

The figure is set against some 60 million trips overseas by British nationals last year, alongside the five million Britons who live overseas.

The new Helping British Nationals Abroad report published today also shows the Foreign & Commonwealth Office issued almost 38,000 emergency travel documents to help people return to the UK.

A global network of 267 British embassies, high commissions and consulates handled over 470,000 enquiries, and FCO staff supported British nationals in 15 crisis situations across the world. 

Grant Shapps, minister for consular affairs, launched the report as he visited the British Consulate and Global Contact Centre in Malaga to meet consular staff at the frontline of supporting British people abroad.

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He said: “Every day our dedicated staff are out helping British nationals across the globe. 

“From making hospital visits and contacting friends and family in the UK, through to supporting grieving families or providing emergency travel documents so people can get home.

“This report provides an insight into what consular staff do every day. 

“But it also offers important advice on how people can take responsibility for their own safety abroad, from checking the FCO travel advice and taking out comprehensive travel insurance to researching the country and health risks before travelling.

“Most of us can look forward to a fantastic, trouble-free holiday this summer.

“But for those who do find themselves in difficulty, the FCO will continue to provide a crucial source of support.”

The report reminds travellers the FCO cannot help travellers enter a country if they do not have a valid passport or the necessary visas.

Nor are they able to give legal advice, investigate crimes, get Brits out of prison, secure hospital treatment, pay bills, offer cash or make travel arrangements.