THE US embassy in Madrid has put out a security alert after a rise in sex assaults against its country’s citizens in Spain.
It is now urging US visitors to take precautions against sex predators including watching out for spiked drinks and avoiding being alone.
In a message on its website, the US Mission said: “The Spanish Ministry of Interior reports a steady increase in the number of sexual assaults nationally over the past five years.
“This includes a rise in sexual assault against young US citizen visitors and students throughout Spain.
“US citizen victims of sexual assault in Spain can find it very difficult to navigate the local criminal justice system, which differs significantly from the US system.
“The US Embassy and Consulate General urge US citizen students and visitors to take precautions against sexual assault during their stay in Spain.”
There have been several high-profile cases of alleged sexual assault in recent years.
The case of three American sisters who made complaints of rape and sexual aggression following a New Year’s Eve party in Murcia made international headlines.
Three Lebanese men, who deny the allegations, were arrested then released on bail.
The sisters aged 18, 20 and 23 flew back to Ohio and are being kept informed of police inquiries.