German police have recorded a number of sexual assaults on New Year’s Eve in Berlin and Cologne, as focus on the event continues following the mass sex assaults of 2016.
Berlin police tweeted Monday that “so far unfortunately occasional sexual assaults were reported. We do not tolerate such acts.”
Around 13 attacks were reported and 10 men were arrested in the German capital, Berliner Zeitung claims. Some of the attacks happened at an event attended by thousands at the landmark Brandenburg Gate.
In Cologne, West Germany, nine women claimed to have been touched inappropriately during the celebrations, a police spokesman said on Monday.
The attacks come after Berlin authorities said they would be creating segregated women-only “safe spaces” on New Year’s Eve to protect females from attacks.
The space was described by organisers as a place for women to go if they had been harassed or felt uncomfortable, and it was staffed by members of the Red Cross.
Event spokesman Anja Marx said: “We are doing this for the first time. The police requested it after they did it at the Munich Oktoberfest this year and it worked out well.”
“numerous brawls and disputes"… “three women were sexually harassed” https://t.co/RofZjBdkyw
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) November 2, 2017
Denise, a woman from Berlin, said that she and her two friends were not aware of the “safe space”, but praised police after they were surrounded by men early on in the night.
“Men danced near us, and the police came immediately and got them away. After that, everything was great again,” she told Die Welt.
Two years ago, there were around 1,200 reported sexual assaults around Germany on New Year’s Eve, including 24 alleged rapes, mainly in Cologne city centre. There were similar incidents at celebrations in Hamburg, Dortmund, Düsseldorf, Stuttgart, and Bielefeld.
Despite initial claims to the contrary, nearly all of the attackers were found to be migrants and refugees of North African and Arab origin, and many having arrived in Germany during the recent Europe Migrant Crisis.
The German mainstream media failed to report the news for days and the police initially said it had been a quiet night, prompting accusations of a “cover-up”. The story came to global attention after it was covered by Breitbart London, the first English language publication to do so.