Ted Thornhill, Daily Mail, February 10, 2016
Cologne police had to break up a mass brawl between asylum seekers and carnival goers when one of the refugees allegedly began to grope a teenage girl.
The violent incident, which included three people being hospitalised, ended this year’s Cologne Carnival, which police have now confirmed resulted in more crimes–including those of a sexual nature–despite the fact there were less people and a greater police presence.
Outlining the incidents, police from Cologne and neighbouring Leverkusen said there had been 673 crimes reported of which 55 were sexual, ranging from people who had been groped through to rape.
In addition, 432 people ended up being taken into custody. Police said all these figures represented an increase on the year before.
The violent confrontation which ended carnival festivities this week happened when a group of asylum seekers clashed with carnival-goers.
Police said a knife had been used and that three people were hospitalised as a result of the attack, which was started by an alleged sexual assault on a young woman by one of the refugees.
They said that one of the asylum seekers, believed to be a 27-year-old from North Africa, had groped the 19-year-old and that the carnival-goers had stepped in to protect her.
The Cologne and Leverkusen police force said officers calmed the situation down and made arrests.
They also announced that they ordered bars and clubs in the Bahnhofstrasse area of Leverkusen to close in order to prevent the violence from spreading and going out of control.