Cologne’s sexual assault epidemic is still growing, with now more than 500 criminal complaints of violent attacks by gangs of men believed to be migrants on New Year’s Eve.
Police in the German city are under fire after a group of more than 1,000 men was able to harass, assault, rob, and allegedly rape women who were out to celebrate the holiday. Authorities called the attacks “coordinated” and the groups have been identified as migrants escaping war in the Middle East.
On Sunday, police said that 516 criminal complaints have been made since the attacks took place, with 40 percent including allegations of sexual assault. So far 31 suspects have been detained, including 18 who were asylum seekers, the U.K.’s Independent reported.
After being accused of failing to properly address the rampant sexual assaults, German officials are now coming down hard and vowing to deport migrants who engage in such activity.
The Independent noted the change in German policy.
“On Saturday, the German chancellor Angela Merkel announced a proposal that will make it easier for the authorities to deport refugees and migrants who commit crimes.
“Separately, police in Hamburg are also investigating sexual assaults and thefts in the St. Pauli district similar to those in Cologne, which occurred on a smaller scale in the northern city on New Year’s Eve. Authorities in Sweden and Finland are also investigating similar incidents in their countries.”
Authorities described a chaotic scene in Cologne, with leaked police reports detailing groups attacking both police and partiers at will with no repercussions
Cologne Assaults: Police Receive 516 Complaints https://t.co/VuxFQQq5D4
— Sky News (@SkyNews) January 10, 2016
“When we arrived, our vehicles were pelted with firecrackers,” the report read, via Russia Today. “In the forecourt and on the cathedral steps were a thousand people, mostly males of an immigrant background who were indiscriminately throwing fireworks and bottles into the crowd.”
The violence and sexual assault allegations are not unique to Cologne. There were very similar attacks across other cities, including Hamburg, Berlin, and Stuttgart. In Frankfurt, a group of men with north African appearance and strong Arabic accents were accused of assaulting several women, The Local reported.
“We didn’t know of the phenomenon, where groups of men severely sexual molest women, until now,” a police spokesperson said.
The incidents have thrown gasoline on an already explosive debate over migrants. Germany has taken in more than 1 million people fleeing violence in the Middle East, with accusations that officials have not done enough to vet those entering the country.
The slow response has added more controversy, as well as striking, but unconfirmed, reports that some of the migrants attacking women in Cologne also taunted police. Police claimed that some of the men tore up housing assignments in front of police and taunted: “You can’t touch me. I’ll just go back tomorrow and get a new one.”
The report also claimed that one man yelled: “I’m a Syrian! You have to treat me kindly! [Chancellor Angela] Merkel invited me.”
Right-wing leaders point to sexual assaults in Cologne as reason to tighten refugee policies: https://t.co/J5KCpQb88o
— Foreign Policy (@ForeignPolicy) January 10, 2016
For some in conservative circles, the rape and sexual assault allegations in Cologne are evidence that the policy of allowing in migrants unchecked is unsafe for Europe. Some have even warned specifically about rape.
In October, Anne-Marie Waters wrote a warning in Breitbart titled, “Europe’s Rape Epidemic: Western Women Will Be Sacrificed At The Altar Of Mass Migration.” She recounted how Muslims in the U.K. have often been accused of raping and attacking women, which she said reflected an upbringing in parts of the world where women are often oppressed.
“Rape and sexual assault (as well as forced prostitution) is rampant within the refugee camps in Germany, and it has spilled out to the nearby towns. Rape in Germany has already been described as an ‘epidemic’ and one that the German authorities, and media, are keeping rather quiet about. The reality is that German authorities, who know that many of these asylum seekers are rapists, will allow those men to live freely among German women – they have decided to allow German women to be raped, just like authorities all across Europe.”
Police in Cologne said the investigation into the mass sexual assaults on New Year’s Eve continues, and more arrests are expected.
[Picture by Sascha Schuermann/Getty Images]