British Ambassador John Kittmer visited Crete on Thursday, where he met with the family of a young man who was stabbed to death during a brawl between Britons in the early hours of Tuesday in the holiday resort of Malia in Iraklio, the embassy said on Friday.
Kittmer met with the family of 19-year-old Tyrell Matthews-Burton, who was celebrating his birthday with friends at a nightclub when a fight erupted between around 30 Britons, resulting in Matthews-Burton being fatally stabbed.
“The death of a young man in such circumstances is a great tragedy, which grieves us all," Kittmer said in a written statement to the press.
The British ambassador also met with the town's mayor and local police investigators, saying that "the British Embassy, represented on Crete by an exceptional consular team, has good relations and works closely with all the local authorities in Malia and the tour operators. We co-operate very effectively together."
Kittmer added that he launched two months ago a campaign in all the destinations of choice in the British youth market – i.e. Zakynthos, Crete, Corfu, Rhodes and Kos - promoting safe holidays.
"Despite this tragic incident, the campaign message remains valid. We are saying to young tourists: you can have a good time and enjoy yourselves, while keeping safe and acting responsibly. All of us have to respect local laws and customs," Kittmer said.
His statement added that last year, 715 incidents of various types were reported to British consulates in Greece, in comparison to the 2 million British tourists who visited the country.
"Greece is a friendly, hospitable and safe country," the statement read.
An Iraklio prosecutor has charged Myles Litchmore-Dunbar, also aged 19, with the murder of Matthews-Burton, while another 18 British youths face various charges in connection with the incident.
According to reports, investigators have found three knives connected to the incident, leading them to believe that more than one person may have stabbed the 19-year-old.
One of the 18 suspects under detention allegedly told investigators that he may have stabbed Matthews-Burton accidentally.
All 19 suspects have been giving their testimony to an Iraklio magistrate for the past three days, from which it has emerged that they may have been involved in another altercation at another bar during their stay in Malia.