Like me, I'm sure everyone is shocked and saddened by the news of the shooting of the British family in the Alps and even more shocked about the discovery many hours later of the poor little 4 year old girl who survived and will surely be scarred for life by this incident. We hope that the girl's older sister pulls through and our thoughts are with them both for a recovery both physical and mentally as much as is possible. I can't imagine what they are going through.
My purpose for this post however is to highlight the Foreign Office Advice:
We are aware of an incident near Lake Annecy, which is the subject of a French police investigation. We have no information to suggest that there is a wider threat to UK nationals as a result of this incident. We are continuing to monitor the situation closely. If you are in the area, you should follow the advice of the local authorities.
This advice has been reviewed and reissued with an amendment to the Travel Summary (incident near Lake Annecy). The overall level of the advice has not changed; there are no travel restrictions in place in this travel advice for France.
The reason I feel this needs to be brought to your attention is that some of the UK newspapers are linking the shooting to the 'gangs' targeting foreign tourists in France and even suggesting that the Foreign Office has warned tourists about travel to France & Spain. These articles are scare-mongering and likely to have a negative effect on both tourism in France and on the families of those of us who live/travel to France regularly as I found out today.
We're due to travel back home to the South of France tomorrow and the news being passed around in London has been that 'I should check the news about travelling to France because of gang related shootings of tourists' Ignoring that I'm not a tourist but I do have a UK plated car. Should I feel threatened? I don't think so.
Once again quoting the Foreign Office website: Around 19,300,000 British nationals visit France every year (Source: Ministry of Tourism). Most visits are trouble-free.
I am sure the French police will do everything they can & work closely with Surrey Police (that is where the family came from) to discover what happened and to catch whoever did this, but my plea to everyone else out there - especially the Survive France community is not to join in the scaremongering. It's tragic what has happened but there is NO EVIDENCE at the moment that gangs are targeting British Families in BMWs so I won't be changing my car nor will I let this incident ruin my trip home. Please don't let these newspaper articles ruin your holiday or that of your family/friends. France is a beautiful and as safe a country as the UK or other Western countries. Be vigilant but don't be scared.