The number of Australians arrested and hospitalised overseas skyrocketed last financial year, prompting a warning from Foreign Minister Julie Bishop about reckless behaviour and the growing workload placed on Australian consular officials.A total of 1551 Australians were arrested in foreign countries in 2015-16, an increase of 23 per cent, with drugs, fraud and assault the most common offences. There were 391 Australians assisted in overseas jails, 61 of which were in mainland China.
Aussies behaving badly
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Aussies behaving badly The number of Australians getting into themselves in trouble overseas has significantly increased the workload of consular staff as Julie Bishop urges people to behave.
A further 1667 Australians landed themselves in overseas hospitals, an increase of 15 per cent. The biggest hospitalisation hot-spots were Thailand, Indonesia , the US , New Caledonia and Vietnam .Ms Bishop said the figures made for “interesting reading”. She was particularly concerned about a lack of knowledge about local laws and customs, noting that Australian consular action was “significantly constrained” once people were subject to a foreign legal system. The ‘Budgie Nine’ at the Malaysian Grand Prix. Photo: AP “The Australian government can only do so much, “she said. “The Australian government is not a hospital, it is not a hotel, it is not an internet cafe and our consular officials cannot just whisk you out of jail. People have to take responsibility for their behaviour overseas.”Earlier this month, nine Australian men in their 20s were arrested at the Malaysian Grand Prix after stripping down to their underwear, which featured the revered Malaysian flag. The so-called Budgie Nine escaped conviction and returned to Australia amid international headlines.
Just last week, three Australians were arrested in China as part of an apparent crackdown on foreign gambling activities in the country. The three executives were among 18 employees of James Packer’s Crown Resorts empire detained in China on Thursday.…