In what the city police chief called “a completely new dimension of crime”, more than 80 women were sexually assaulted and mugged on New Year’s Eve in the main train station of Cologne, Germany. Henriette Reker, mayor of the city has called police for a crisis meeting after the attacks, in which about 1000 drunk and aggressive young men were involved, apparently of Arab or North African origin. While police were deployed for crowd control on New Year’s Eve in the area, which is in the center of the city and close to its iconic cathedral, they failed to notice the many attacks on women. So far, nearly 60 criminal complaints have been filed, including at least one allegation of rape. Police are now investigating whether the men targeting women on Thursday night by surrounding, robbing and assaulting them, had organized these assaults through social media. They are also looking at video footage from surveillance cameras and mobile phones. The mayor called the attacks “monstrous”, saying “we cannot allow this to become a lawless area,” insisting that visitors might shun the city.
Read the full story at the BBC.