There were a number of sexual assaults at New Year’s Eve parties in Berlin and Cologne as Germany saw in 2018.
However, German police avoided a repeat of the horrific sex attacks two years ago, when hundreds of women were assaulted in Cologne.
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Despite the additions of safe zones for women at the celebrations in Berlin, there were 13 sexual assaults this year, according to police.
Seven people were arrested at the party at Brandenburg Gate.
Meanwhile, there were nine cases of sexual harassment or assault in Cologne, and three arrests.
Bei den Veranstaltungen zu #Welcome2018 in #Berlin wurden bislang leider vereinzelt sexuelle Übergriffe gemeldet. Solche Taten dulden wir nicht!
Es wurden Tatverdächtige festgenommen. Wir haben zivile Kolleg. auf der #Festmeile, die gegen diese Taten vorgehen.
— Polizei Berlin Einsatz (@PolizeiBerlin_E) December 31, 2017
Two years ago, local police in Cologne were overwhelmed as hundreds of women were groped and robbed by men from migrant backgrounds – many of whom were not brought to justice.
This year, there was additional security including security checks, extra police and the protection zones as police sought to prevent a repeat.
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In a statement posted on Twitter, Berlin Police said: ‘At the events to #Welcome2018 in #Berlin so far unfortunately occasional sexual assaults were reported. We do not tolerate such acts. Suspects were arrested.’
But the number of reported incidents was not unusual in comparison to a normal weekend, Die Welt reported – especially as hundreds of thousands of revellers gathered to see in the new year in the capital.
Berlin Police spokesman Thomas Neuendorf told Ruptly that the suspects were ‘predominantly young men from Syria or Afghanistan’.
Anna-Lena Eichelhardt attended the public party in Cologne with her friend Carolin Heinz.
She told Die Welt: ‘When we talked about our plan to celebrate New Year’s Eve in Cologne at home, we were approached by our families and friends about the events of two years ago.
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‘But the many police officers and that you only come to the Domplatte after a check, gives us a feeling of security.’
Meanwhile, two people were killed by firework explosions in Germany, police said.
A 35-year-old man died after igniting fireworks, and a 19-year-old suffered fatal head injuries after he set off a homemade device.