HOLIDAYMAKERS and residents should take extra care of their passports this summer, with thefts in towns and cities on the rise, the British Consulate in Alicante has warned.
The number of Brits needing an Emergency Travel Document (ETD) is up 11 per cent so far this year, with the Consulate having issued some 500 to date. Getting hold of an ETD costs time and money: they cost £100 and can take around two hours to issue, plus the time needed for travel to and from the Consulate. These single-use documents will get you home, but you will then need to spend more time and money applying for a new passport, leaving a bad aftertaste to any trip.
Two-thirds of stolen passports are taken in town or city centres, according to figures compiled by the Consulate. As tourist numbers rise for the summer, passport theft often soars – as this year’s figures are already demonstrating.
Consul Sarah-Jane Morris says, “It’s frustrating to have your holiday ruined through a lost or stolen passport – and costly as well. It should only take a little vigilance and care to keep it away from thieves. Think about where you keep your passport – is it secure, or could it be grabbed? If you are carrying your passport, keep it in a zipped pocket or money belt under your clothes.”
This year is seeing a significant increase in the number of British tourists visiting Spain, with an expected rise of 11 per cent over last year. With the increase of passport thefts following suit, last-minute dashes to get an emergency replacement from the Consulate are increasingly common, causing stress for more British holidaymakers.