Victim of Crime
Being the victim of crime abroad can be a very upsetting experience. Our consular staff are here to help and assist with some of the practical issues you may face.
Robbery, theft, loss
Lost or stolen passport
If your passport is lost or stolen while you’re abroad, we can help.
What we can do:
- We can issue you a replacement passport that will let you finish your trip, or;
- We can issue you with an emergency travel document to get you home.
We’ll do our best to help you as quickly as possible but this can take some time, and your location and circumstances may limit the help we can give you.
You should contact the nearest Irish Embassy or Consulate to find out what you need to do to apply for a passport. They will also be able to advise you on the fees which apply.
Loss of money or bank cards
If your bank card has been lost or stolen, you should contact the relevant financial institution immediately to prevent illegal use.
What we can do:
- We can let you know how you can get funds transferred to you from Ireland.
- We can assist you to make a report to the local police.
We always advise you to report the loss or theft of your belongings to the local police. You usually need a police certificate detailing your loss before an insurance company will meet your travel insurance claim.
Accident or assault
If you’ve been the victim of an accident or assault abroad, we’ll do everything possible to help you.
What we can do
- We can help you to find local, English-speaking legal and medical practitioners.
- We can assist you in dealing with the police.
- We can get in touch with family and friends and help with arrangements to get you home.
What we can’t do
- We can’t give you legal or medical advice.
- We can’t formally recommend or pay for doctors or lawyers.
- We can’t provide formal interpretation or translations.
- We can’t book or pay for flights on your behalf.
Rape and sexual assault
If you are the victim of a rape or sexual assault abroad your local Irish Embassy or Consulate is there to help. We make absolutely no judgements about you or your situation and will treat your case in confidence, as appropriate.
If you have been assaulted, we can support you in accessing appropriate services. It may be advisable to:
- Go to the hospital immediately after the assault.
- Report the assault to the police and get a police report.
You should be aware that cultural and social attitudes to rape and sexual assault victims may vary in different countries. Your local Irish Embassy or Consulate can provide you with impartial advice in this regard.
What we can do
- We can help you to deal with the local police and medical authorities, and put you in touch with a local, English-speaking lawyer.
- We can contact your family and help with arrangements for you to go back to Ireland, if that’s what you want.
- We can try to put you in contact with counselling services in the country where the incident took place. If that’s not possible, we can assist you to access an Irish counselling service.
What we can’t do
- We can’t book or pay for flights.
- We can’t formally recommend, or pay for, lawyers or legal advice.
- We can’t investigate the crime.
- We can’t represent you in court.
Reporting the crime
The decision on whether to report the crime or seek medical attention is for you to decide, but you should be aware that a delay in doing so may hamper the collection of forensic and other evidence.
Rape and sexual assault is not treated the same way in other countries as it is in Ireland, and you may find that you encounter issues concerning local laws and customs.
Our staff are here to give you some helpful information in these respects, but we usually recommend that you engage a local lawyer to look after your interests if you’re considering prosecution. We can give you lists of local English-speaking lawyers.
Our staff will never make judgements about you or your situation, and anything you tell us will be kept in confidence, as appropriate. Your local Irish Embassy or Consulate is there to help.
Sometimes people can run out of money while travelling or they may find themselves in financial difficulty after many years of living and working abroad.
Usually, you can arrange for a relative or friend to transfer money to you from Ireland through well-known commercial agencies. We can advise you on the services available in your location.
If this isn’t possible, one of our consular officers can contact your family or friends in Ireland and ask them to send you funds through the Department of Foreign Affairs. We do charge a fee for this service.
While you are waiting for money to be sent from home, we can’t provide you with a loan or pay for your hotel or other expenses.
Sometimes the best solution for someone who has become destitute or is experiencing hardship abroad is repatriation (the process of returning someone to their home country).
Our consular officers will assist in these situations by making contact with your family or friends in Ireland and by asking them to arrange to send you funds, or by asking them to purchase you a travel ticket to return to Ireland. We cannot book or pay for flights on your behalf.
The Victims Charter can help you find the support you need when you become a victim of crime. The Charter also describes the Irish Criminal Justice System so that you can understand what to expect.