Approximately 5,500 British nationals are arrested abroad every year.

Some may escape with a fine or a night in a police station, but many end up with a prison sentence that has to be served in the country they were detained in.

Prisoners Abroad is currently working with over 1,000 prisoners in 90 countries across the world. Many are held in appalling conditions, sleeping in dirty overcrowded cells with barely enough to eat or drink.

Some are arrested for actions they didn’t even know would be considered crimes, simply because they aren’t aware of the laws and customs of the country they are in. These arrests can be easily avoided if you make sure you are #TravelAware.

Your organisation is one that I never thought I would be using, but it has turned out to be invaluable.

Travel Aware is a campaign that we have run in partnership with the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) to make people aware of information that might prove useful whilst travelling abroad.

Brits often travel around the world; in search of hotter weather, to enjoy winter activities such as skiing or to simply explore different countries and cultures. To ensure you have a great time and don’t get into trouble while you’re away, it is worth taking some time to look up your destination.

A word from Pauline Crowe, our CEO:

There are even more Brits travelling abroad than usual and countries are often not inclined to deal lightly with tourists who misbehave. 

All around the world laws and customs can differ greatly from the UK’s, and visitors should be respectful of them at all times to ensure they do not cause offence or get arrested.

It takes a matter of minutes to look at the advice the FCO has to offer; minutes that could save you months of grief by preventing you being detained for something you were unaware was a crime.

People should enjoy themselves when travelling and come home with happy memories that last a lifetime, not having served a sentence that will take a lifetime to forget.

Our message is the same as always – do your research before you travel and if you find yourself in a situation that makes you feel uneasy or anxious, walk away immediately.

Country of the Month - have you visited any of these countries?

Off on holiday? Visit the FCO website for travel advice and select the country that you’re going to.