After more than 1,000 women were mugged, sexually assaulted, and raped by migrants last New Year’s Eve, the city of Cologne is considering using helicopters, registering all newcomers, and setting up “women retreats” to keep females safe this year.
The official recommendations were made to police in a report, seen by Cologne’s Express newspaper, written by expert police who have analysed theevents at the New Year’s Eve celebrations last year.
“A consistent and comprehensive first-time survey of asylum seekers/refugees at entry is regarded as mandatory for both preventive policing… and investigative inspection,” the report asserts.
The authors say the establishment of “women retreats/security points” should be examined, and police should look to deploy specially trained female sexual offence officers to the streets “in order to carry out qualified questioning and secure objective evidence”.
They also suggest extra “police horses, helicopters, and elevated observation positions” to control the mobs and revellers this year, and much-expanded use of surveillance including “vigorously documenting video surveillance and sufficient light sources”.
Furthermore, the report argues that there must be more work done to integrate immigrants and “improve the basic conditions which result in social-structure disadvantages and frustrations as a result of lack of personal exchange, financial participation, recognition, and barriers to getting to know women.”
During the 2015/16 New Year’s Eve celebrations in Cologne city centre, hundreds of sexual assaults (including groping and at least five rapes) were reported.
Witnesses described the attackers as “North African or Arab origin”. It later emerged that most suspects came from Algeria, Morocco, or Iraq, that many were claiming asylum in Germany, and 70 per cent of had been in the country for less than a year.
Local media later apologised for ‘covering up’ and initially failing to report on the attacks. Leaked documents and e-mails showed the police were also under pressure to keep quiet about the migrant attacks.