The State Department is warning about what?

Written by admin on January 2, 2009 – 12:25 pm -

Give me a break! Today, the US State Department issued a travel advisory warning Americans about potential crimes exploding in the UK. Tourists going to London could be victims of muggings, ATM scams and possible rapes by unlicensed cab drivers. Visitors should be on their guard.

The State Department’s UK advisory included, ”Despite the excellent overall safety record, British trains have poor track conditions, which have resulted in some train derailments and have caused some fatalities.”

Tourists can be easy victims of petty crimes if they’re not careful and have that vulnerable or lost look. And as economies are hurting, expect increased crime wherever.

New York City banks are being robbed with greater frequency. Does this require a travel advisory? As Willy Sutton allegedly responded when asked why he robbed banks, ”Because that’s where the money is.”

Perhaps it’s been a slow holiday season in the Nation’s Capital for those condemned to work. But wait a minute.

Here’s another alert: The State Department strongly recommends that American citizens “refrain from all travel to the Gaza strip and that people currently in Gaza depart immediately.” This recommendation has been in effect since the deadly roadside bombing of a U.S. Embassy convoy in Gaza in October 2003. It applies to all Americans, including journalists and aid workers. ”No official travel is permitted inside the Gaza Strip at this time.”

Now that makes more sense to me because of the on-going bombings in Israel.

There’s something called being prepared and being prepared. Always use big city smarts. However, some places are more volatile than others. Travelers should keep things in perspective. London isn’t high on my “do not go” list. Is it on yours?

Karen Fawcett is president of BonjourParis

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