Their man in London

An update on a topic from last year – just how badly behaved are the Middle East’s diplomats in the UK? London’s Evening Standard has managed to get more data from the Met Police about what foreign diplomats get arrested for in London. The figures cover all diplomats arrested between April 2008 and March 2011. Until now, the most recent official figures had been for arrests from 2005 to 2009.

There are a few additions to the charge sheet, for incidents which must have happened in either 2010 or the early months of this year, including a bomb hoax by an Omani diplomat, one case of actual bodily harm by an Iranian; grievous bodily harm by a Libyan; a sexual assault by an Egyptian; and four incidents of fraud by Algerian diplomats.

But maintaining their lead in the drink driving stakes are Saudi Arabia’s diplomats. As I said last year: “If there’s one thing you can be sure of, it’s that some Saudi diplomat will get pulled over by the police in London for drink driving this year.” And sure enough, there have been at least two more incidents of drink driving involving Saudi emissaries. They must be really unlucky or really bad at drink driving, or both.

According to a written answer in the House of Commons on 28 June, the Foreign Office is due to issue its latest annual statement on diplomats’ offences and the debts they owe any day now – it was meant to be issued before the end of June but doesn’t seem to have been released yet.