Britons need most consular help in India

  • Prasun Sonwalkar, Hindustan Times, London
  • Updated: Jul 17, 2014 17:35 IST

India is among countries where British nationals need the most consular help for cases that include arrests, hospitalisation, deaths and sexual assaults, according to new world-wide figures released by the Foreign Office.

The travel advice for India continues to caution British women travelling in India. The new figures state that there were no cases of rape during the year ending March 2014 that required consular assistance, but there were six cases of sexual assault.

The ‘British Behaviour Abroad 2014’ report states that there were 842,000 British visitors to India, besides 80,000 British citizens who reside in the country. There were 89 deaths of British citizens in India during the year, 67 cases of hospitalisation, and 59 arrests.

The report says that India is among countries where British citizens are most likely to need consular assistance due to problems they may encounter during their visit there. The highest number of cases of sexual assaults involving Britons was reported from Spain.

The Foreign Office’s advisory: “Women should use caution when travelling in India. Reported cases of sexual assault against women and young girls are increasing; recent sexual attacks against female visitors in tourist areas and cities show that foreign women are also at risk”.

It notes that British women had been the victims of sexual assault in Goa, Delhi, Bangalore and Rajasthan and that women travellers often received “unwanted attention in the form of verbal and physical harassment by individuals or groups of men”.

Recalling that serious sexual attacks involving Polish, German and Danish women travellers had been reported in 2014, the Foreign Office says: “If you are a woman travelling in India you should respect local dress codes and customs and avoid isolated areas, including beaches, when alone at any time of day".

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