BRITONS arrested in Spain have been urged to stop taking risks with the law, as arrests increase by an incredible nine per cent.
There were 1,909 arrests in Spain involving Britons in the year leading up to March 2012 – that’s 162 more than in the previous year.
Alcohol is blamed for a large number of the arrests, with half involving under 34s and many taking place in holiday destinations such as the Canary Islands and Ibiza.
In Malaga arrests were down overall four per cent – but this Andalucian province appears to be is something of a hotspot for drugs crimes, with 34 Britons arrested on drugs-related charges over the 12 months.
Often holidaymakers have ‘unrealistic expectations’ of how much the Foreign Office will protect them once they have got into trouble with the law in Spain.
“All too often they think they’ll spend the night in a cell sleeping off their hangover before being let out in the morning,” said Consul for Spain David Thomas, who explained that many incidents involved young people ‘causing trouble’ outside bars and clubs.
“They soon sober up when they realise their British passport does not grant them immunity and they’re alone in a foreign prison cell, unsure of when they’ll be released and unable to speak to officers because they don’t speak the language.”
He added: “It’s particularly sad to see younger people throwing away years of their lives, often as a result of a risky decision made in the heat of the moment and after a few too many drinks.”