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Top 10 most bizarre requests from Brits abroad

by LaurettaCWright
Bizarre FCO requests from Brits abroad

We’ve all heard of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) and we also all know that when they offer advice on travel to a particular destination, we should pay heed. But these Brits seem to think they can contact the FCO for other reasons…

The following weirdest consular calls were made in the last year to the FCO

  1. A man planning to move to Spain who was worried he would encounter nudists walking through the streets.
  1. A homesick expat asking where he could buy English bacon.
  1. A lady in Lebanon looking for help to recruit an English butler.
  1. A holidaymaker trying to find Travel Advice for a visit to Coventry.
  1. A European filmmaker looking for an English pensioner to play a part in his new film.
  1. A woman who was disappointed the British Embassy has not sent someone to give her a tour of St. Petersburg on her arrival in Russia.
  1. A British man asking for assistance to get illegal employment in Singapore.
  1. A mother asked for the contact details of a young British YouTuber, as her son was a fan of his Minecraft videos.
  1. A confused businessman looking for information on the construction of plug sockets.
  1. A man in South Korea asking what he could do with his old pound notes.

The latest FCO figures show that over the last year almost half a million calls were made to its consular service –which provides emergency help to Brits in trouble overseas.

The vast majority were from people with genuine requests and the FCO assisted with numerous cases, helping 3,250 Brits who were hospitalised, 4,770 who were arrested, and the families of 3,670 who died overseas. Almost 38,000 replacement travel documents were issued.

[bctt tweet=”Almost half a million calls were made to the FCO's consular service last year”]

The FCO’s James Duddridge offers some advice: “Our consular staff are a helpful bunch and do an amazing job helping out Brits in trouble around the world – but it is important that people remember they are there to help with genuine emergencies and not as an alternative to directory enquiries.

“Every minute they spend handling a call requesting advice on butlers or nudists is time taken away from dealing with life and death cases, so I urge the public to think before picking up the phone.”

Information about how the FCO can help British nationals abroad:

The FCO can:

  • Issue you with an emergency travel document
  • Provide information about transferring money
  • Provide help if you have suffered rape or serious sexual or physical assault, are a victim of crime, are ill or in hospital
  • Give you a list of local lawyers, interpreters, doctors or funeral directors
  • Contact you if you are detained abroad
  • Contact friends and family back home for you if you wish
  • Provide help in cases of forced marriage
  • Assist people affected by parental child abduction

The FCO cannot:

  • Help you enter a country if you do not have a valid passport or necessary visas
  • Give you legal advice or translate documents
  • Investigate crimes or get you out of prison
  • Get you better treatment in hospital or prison than is given to local people, but we will raise concerns if treatment falls below internationally recognised standards
  • Pay any bills or give you money
  • Make travel arrangements for you

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