Sunday, August 28, 2011

FCO "trouble abroad" figures: previously unpublished country-by-country details

On my blog for another book, The Rough Guide to First-Time Africa, I've been posting the results of my chasing up the press office of the UK foreign affairs department (the Foreign & Commonwealth Office or FCO) for further information about their recently published "British Behaviour Abroad" report.

The report, covering March 2010 to March 2011, was published at the beginning of August, and contains broad-brush information about the numbers of Britons around the world requiring consular assistance. The numbers run into tens of thousands and include drug arrests, deaths, assaults and stolen passports. Apart from the busiest countries, however, the report does not go into any detail. Kenya isn't mentioned.

I wanted more information, not just about Kenya, but about the other countries I'm particularly interested in in Africa. The results are posted on the First-Time Africa blog, here, and in subsequent posts as I've gleaned more information.

It's worth noting here that between March 2010 and March 2011 not a single Briton was murdered in Kenya. Two people died accidentally, and ten of "unknown causes" - which will likely turn out to mean "formally unknown at the time they were repatriated to the UK" but not in any way suspicious.

The figures do raise some questions, to which I hope I can get answers in the near future.