RIGA - A second UK tourist has been caught urinating in Latvia's Freedom Monument square. On March 16 police detained a drunk British national who was seen urinating in the square while his friends took pictures. The 29-year-old man was issued with a ticket for hooliganism.
It is not the first time a British tourist has committed such an offense. Latvian media were outraged when a 30-year-old British citizen was caught urinating on the Freedom Monument in November 2006. He was fined 810 lats (1,152 euro).
His otherwise minor misdemeanor was considered far more serious because of the significance of the monument to Latvian people.
Coincidentally the latest incident came at the end of the same week the British Embassy in Riga launched an information campaign called "Responsible Tourism" that urges British citizens to behave, observe the law, and avoid urinating in public.
A British Embassy spokesman warned tourists that authorities were taking such actions "very seriously."
"When some people come to visit Latvia they tend to be in holiday mode and forget the norms and values they normally adhere to," the spokesman said.
"They may be very well surprised when they do something like that and get heavily fined for it."
The campaign will involve distributing flyers and beer mats to hotels, restaurants and information centers across Riga. The flyers include tips for behavior, a map of the city, some key Latvian phrases, and an emergency contact number for Embassy staff.