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Reporting a Crime Overseas

By: Beth Morrisey MLIS - Updated: 13 Apr 2017 | comments*Discuss
 
Crime Overseas Abroad Reporting Police

Reporting a crime overseas can be a stressful, confusing situation. Language barriers, differing procedures and foreign laws and justice systems can all seem very scary and almost not worth the hassle if the crime was small, such as a mugging or other form of theft.

However, all crimes that occur overseas should be reported. Not only might your insurance require a copy of a report if you need to claim the value of something, but reporting a crime is the only way to make sure that the local authorities know what is going on. Whether for yourself or the future safety of others, reporting a crime overseas is the right thing to do.

Be Prepared

No one likes to imagine a crime occurring on the trip of a lifetime, but being prepared just in case will make things much easier if one does occur. To begin with, consider taking out travel insurance and carrying claim forms with you in case you need them. Also make sure that you travel with photocopies of your passport.

This means that you should have multiple copies of the identification pages with you as well as leaving at least one copy with some one at home. Remember to carry the copies in a separate location from the originals when you travel. Also carry with you all contact information (phone and fax numbers, email and addresses) of the embassies in the countries in which you will be travelling.

If you are staying in one country for a significant length of time, consider registering at the embassy to let your own government know of your plans. Enter the country's emergency telephone numbers into your mobile phone as well.

Reporting Crimes

Unfortunately, many travellers are the victims of crimes while abroad. Some areas of the countries you will be visiting may be known to be locations which are less safe, so always check with experienced travellers and see if you can avoid these areas if possible.

If not, keep your money and valuable items with you at all times and preferably in front of you rather than in a backpack. Avoid back alleys, walking alone and flashing valuable items, and do try to avoid becoming intoxicated while alone.

If you do become the victim of a crime, don't panic, the first thing you need to do is remain calm and contact the local police and report the crime. This may be hard if you do not speak the local language fluently, but you can ask the police for an English speaking officer or a translator - if there is no translator enlist the aid of another traveller or even someone at your accommodation who may be able to act as a translator.

Also contact your embassy to report the crime and solicit advice. If you need a replacement passport or have been left with no money, report this as well. Embassy representatives may also be able to arrange medical care if it is needed, such as finding a medical professional who can discuss STIs, HIV/AIDs and abortion if these topics are pertinent. Contacting your family at home will also be easier if your embassy staff is involved in the incident.

The Aftermath

Some travellers find it hard to complete their trips after becoming the victims of crime. If you find yourself yearning to return home then there is no reason to fight these feelings. Particularly after traumatic incidents such as a physical or sexual assault, many victims require counselling or other therapy. If you recognise that you may need help, then acting on it is one of the healthiest things you can do.

However, you should be careful to ask the local authorities and your embassy if leaving the country is possible and/or a good idea, if an investigation is on-going it may be recommended that you stay. If needed, discuss your options with a member of the local authorities and a local solicitor before you decide whether you should stay or you should go. If you do decide to stay, asking a friend or relative to fly in to meet you might be a good idea and help you feel more at ease.

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You should also mention that in some countries being a victim of a crime constitutes as a crime itself. For example, in Saudi Arabia rape is not legally recognized as a crime and if you report a rape to the police you may find yourself being the one handcuffed because rape is merely considered sexual intercourse and they make no distinction between consensual and non-consensual sex. Extramarital and premarital sex is illegal over there, so rape victims are the criminals in the eyes of the law.
Vem Caindo - 13-Apr-17 @ 12:18 AM
Maritess - Your Question:
To whom it may concernLast Thursday 11th of August 2016, I saw and watched a horrible video clip on facebook. A video of a foreign woman drowning an infant child. The infant was naked and the woman was holding the infant on her arms dipping the infant in and out from the water in a tub. The infant was crying loud if ehat the woman was doing to her. While dipping her in & out of the tub, at the same time she was also turning her fast left & right enough to break her arms. I felt so helpless that I couldn't do anything to save her. I was very upset up to now and don't know whom I can turn to, to save this infant. I couldn't sleep properly and I couldn't forget what I saw. I couldn't understand why anybody can do this to a baby. I still have the copy of the video if there's anyone out there can help this baby & arrest this woman. I'm saying that she's foreign because her language is. Pls I beg you to help this baby ASAP. Ms Rowley

Our Response:
I am sorry to hear you have been distressed by what you have seen. You can report a YouTube video via the link here and Facebook here. The content would have to be reviewed first in order to see whether a crime has taken place. I hope this helps.
GreatGapYears - 16-Aug-16 @ 11:02 AM
To whom it may concern Last Thursday 11th of August 2016, I saw and watched a horrible video clip on facebook. A video of a foreign woman drowning an infant child. The infant was naked and the woman was holding the infant on her arms dipping the infant in and out from the water in a tub. The infant was crying loud if ehat the woman was doing to her. While dipping her in & out of the tub, at the same time she was also turning her fast left & right enough to break her arms. I felt so helpless that I couldn't do anything tosave her. I was very upset up to now and don't know whom I can turn to, to save this infant. I couldn't sleep properly and I couldn't forget what I saw. I couldn't understand why anybody can do this to a baby. I still have the copy of the video if there's anyone out there can help this baby & arrest this woman. I'm saying that she's foreign because her language is. Pls I beg you to help this baby ASAP. Ms Rowley
Maritess - 15-Aug-16 @ 2:28 PM
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