German officials in Cologne vow to never allow a similar incident to repeat itself after 90 women reported being robbed, threatened or sexually molested at the New Year’s celebrations outside Cologne’s cathedral by young, mostly drunk men.
COLOGNE, GERMANY (JANUARY 5, 2016) (REUTERS) – Cologne city officials said on Tuesday (January 5) they would work on “measures” to avoid a repeat of mass attacks after about 90 women reported being robbed, threatened or sexually molested at New Year celebrations outside Cologne’s cathedral by young, mostly drunk men.
Cologne police chief Wolfgang Albers told a news conference officers described the men as looking as if they were from “the Arab or North African region” and mostly between 18 and 35 years old.
While politicians also urged people not to become wary of all refugees, the incident fuelled calls from right-wing groups to stop letting in migrants.
City mayor Henriette Reker said she wanted to underline that “there are no indications that there are people involved here who have received accommodation here in Cologne as refugees.”
Germany took in just over a million migrants last year, far more than any other European country.
After a crisis meeting, Reker said new steps would be taken to avoid a repeat, including increasing police numbers at big events and installing more security cameras.
She stressed that women must feel safe at traditional carnival celebrations next month when the city closes down for five days of drunken street parades and parties.