The Foreign Office has issued a stark warning to British tourists regarding the possible threat of predatory taxi drivers while traveling abroad.
This advisory comes on the heels of a distressing incident involving the rape of a 23-year-old woman and a string of other reported sexual assaults.
The horrific incident took place in the city of Split, Croatia – a resort becoming increasingly more popular with British tourists as a slightly cheaper alternative compared to the likes of Spain and Portugal.
The victim, who was assaulted in a taxi, bravely recounted to the local authorities that the driver took advantage of her intoxicated state while her companion briefly stepped away to collect a takeaway.
The alleged atttacker is currently in police custody.
But he vehemently maintains that the sexual encounter was consensual.
A trial date has been scheduled to address the conflicting claims.
The Foreign Office warning reads: “There have been reports of sexual assaults in taxis or Ubers in Croatia. To reduce risk and help prevent potential assaults you can: Take a photo of the inside, where the number of the taxi is visible, and send to a friend or someone else Share your ride status on the Uber app.
“Make a call while in the taxi telling someone which taxi it is and where you are going.”
Additional guidance on reporting assaults stresses that victims should promptly reach out to the international emergency number at 112, notify tour operators, and contact the UK embassy situated in Zagreb.
They added: “Embassy staff will be non-judgmental, and can provide information on local police and medical procedures.”
A spokesperson for Uber said: “With more than 120,000 users in Croatia, the safety of everyone using our app is an absolute priority.
“All drivers must go through a strict verification process that includes, among other things, a criminal record check.”
The Ministry of Transport in Croatia has committed to thoroughly investigating all received reports.