Holiday makers are hot targets for crime

Published on 1 January 1970 by Raffick Marday

Everyone understands the importance of taking reasonable precautions while on holiday – unfortunately though, it seems like this advice is more crucial than ever.

beach holiday

British consulates located in Spain are reporting that crime rates are increasing against tourists visiting the country, with pickpockets more likely than ever to steal possessions from Brits on overseas breaks.

Petty crime, muggings and confidence tricks are all reportedly on the increase, with stolen passports posing a particular problem. Currently, almost 30,000 British passports are stolen every year, with that number thought to be rising as crime becomes more commonplace throughout many areas of Europe.

Insurance analysts believe that this is partly due to high youth unemployment within many of these countries. Under-25s are particularly badly affected by this, with 41% unemployed in Italy, 43% in Portugal, 56% in Spain and 63% in Greece. Without other sources of income available, it’s believed that more young people are making a living through crime – and this means that British tourists need to be more on their guard than ever.

Malcolm Tarling, a spokesman for the Association of British Insurers, said: “British tourists can be easy targets and many are crime victims waiting to happen.”

While there are many ways Brits can fall victim to crime, one increasing problem-area involves ‘beach bags’.

“A typical beach bag is now worth thousands of pounds,” said Greg Lawson of Columbus Direct. “It might include three mobile phones, a couple of Kindles, a fistful of credit cards and an iPad. This makes them a very attractive and easy target.

“Unemployment increases the potential and opportunity for crime. We are approaching the perfect storm. When you have high levels of unemployment, the risk of rising crime increases.”

This has started to affect travel insurance policies, with some companies now reducing the maximum cover they can provide clients.

Airports are considered to be particularly problematic areas, as many pickpockets are now believed to operate widely within their walls.

Expensive rates mean that buying your travel money at the airport can also leave you out of pocket, so it is advisable to organise a travel money card well in advance of catching your flight.

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