Security Tight on Women's Day in Cologne
- By Sydny Shepard
- Feb 04, 2016
Germany is celebrating its traditional Women’s Carnival “Weiberfastnacht” where the people of Cologne and surrounding areas dress up, drink local beer, dance and attend street parties. However, a shadow looms over this year’s festivities, after the series of sexual attacks which occurred on New Year’s Eve. Hundreds of women were groped, sexually assaulted and robbed outside the central train station.
Cologne has done its best to make sure that the festival continues as normal, but it has to do so by putting more police on duty, lighting dark alleyways and installing security cameras to make people feel safe.
Cologne has also set up a security point for females in the city center where women can find a safe haven in the crowded space. The security station is the first contact point for women - if anything should happen to them, allowing them to find some peace and quiet, away from the mania of the carnival, before seeing a counselor if they wish.
Around 2,500 police officers have been calling in to patrol the streets, three times as many as last year. CCTV cameras have been installed and bans have been imposed on known petty thieves, including suspected pickpockets who took part in the crime spree on New Year’s Eve.
Security forces are also battling to prevent a possible terror attack, with Germany’s domestic intelligence chief Hans-Georg Maassen reiterating in a report that the situation remained serious after the Paris Attacks in November.
Sydny Shepard is the Executive Editor of Campus Security & Life Safety.