William Hague Warns Brits in the US against Wasting Embassy Time

In April, it was revealed that every year hundreds of people waste embassy time whilst abroad. UK expats have been using the British Embassy for all kinds of weird and wonderful reasons.

One such request was made by a Brit in Florida last year, who called the British Embassy to ask for pest control advice because he had found ants in his holiday rental apartment.

The Foreign Secretary pleaded with expats and tourists to stop making these strange demands. People who misuse the system in this way are stretching the scarce consular resources. Not to mention occupying phone lines when real emergencies might be happening.

Other examples of people wasting embassy time, included requests to help find false teeth, for directions because the sat-nav was broken, advice on where to find a dog minder, and advice about the weather.

Mr Hague went on to suggest that the British Embassy should only be contacted under emergency conditions. With around 6,000 nationals arrested abroad last year, and one in ten murders of Britons taking place overseas, its clear that the embassies are extremely busy dealing with real issues.

There are of course genuine reasons for contacting your embassy whilst living in the US. One example is if you find yourself a victim of crime and need to find a lawyer. The British Embassy can provide you with information about local police and legal procedures. They can also point you in the right direction to find legal advice.

Furthermore, they can help out by contacting your relatives and friends to let them know what has happened.

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