Experiencing crime abroad can be distressing on many levels. As well as coping with the impact of the crime itself, you also have to deal with the police and judicial systems of the country where the crime took place.

Some crimes will have a direct impact on your travel itinerary or plans; for example, the theft of credit cards, your mobile phone or travel documents can create further disruption and anxiety, and lead to difficulties with local payments.

Being injured or undergoing a forensic examination after an assault or other violent crime might mean that you need to communicate with medical staff in a foreign language, or rely on the use of an interpreter, during an already difficult time.

  • Make a note of what happened and where you reported the crime, taking names, police rank and contact numbers. This will support any insurance claim you make, and can also help if you’re called to give evidence at a court trial.
  • Contact your bank to put a stop to any lost/stolen credit cards and, if necessary, arrange for a cash transfer.
  • Get the names and contact details of any medical staff you have contact with.
  • If your passport or identity papers are stolen, contact the local British consulate as soon as possible.

Cruise ships are generally registered in a ‘flag of convenience’ country. This means that they are subject to the laws and standards of those countries, which can be very different to United Kingdom regulations. So, a cruise ship is unknown foreign territory, and most of a cruise will take place in international waters, outside a port’s jurisdiction. Ships’ security officers work for the cruise ship company and may have little or no training in dealing with crime.

Not all crimes are even reported by the crew to the flag country’s or local port’s police. When crimes are reported, the investigation might be very brief and informal, even after a very serious offence. If you’ve been a victim of a crime on board a cruise ship, Victim Support can offer you help and support when you return to England or Wales.

We can give you the support and information you need to move forward after crime.

It’s normal to experience a range of emotions, such as distress, grief, anxiety of self-blame, after a crime has taken place. These feelings might not go away after you return to the UK and may even get worse. However you’re feeling or whenever the crime took place, you can talk to us in complete confidence. We can help, whether or not you reported the crime to the local police.

Most people who are affected by crime want to talk to someone about what has happened and how they’re feeling. Friends and family can be very helpful, but our workers are specially trained to listen and understand. We can also give useful information to help you deal with some of the problems a crime has caused and we can offer practical help too.

If you’ve been bereaved after a homicide abroad, our Homicide Service team can give you the specialist support and information you will need.

All our services are available to visitors to England and Wales for the duration of your time here. However, our services are only available in England and Wales, so we cannot continue to give support after your return home to another country.

Note: With certain exceptions provided by our Homicide Service, Victim Support cannot commission services abroad or help with travelling expenses to the country where the offence took place.

If you’ve been affected by a crime abroad you can contact us by:

Alternatively you can create a free account on My Support Space – an online resource containing interactive guides to help you manage the impact that crime has had on you.

If English is not your first language and you would like some support, call our Supportline and let us know which language you speak, and we will call you back with an interpreter as soon as possible. We also welcome calls via Relay UK on 18001 08 08 16 89 111.

Families and friends affected by crime can also contact us for support and information. If you’re a child or young person under 18 and are looking for support, visit our You & Co website, where we have lots of information and tips specifically for children and young people.

If you’re a foreign tourist or visitor and have experienced crime in London, you can get support from our International Visitors Victims service.

For support:  +44 (0)203 948 0330  (8am-8pm Monday-Fridays)
Mobile/SMS:  +44 (0)7931 866 786 (8am-8pm Monday-Fridays)
Email: International.Visitors@victimsupport.org.uk (8am-8pm Monday-Fridays)