Alarmed underwear designed to protect against sex attacks have proved a surprise hit in Germany.
The ‘safe shorts’ are fitted with a combination lock that triggers a 130db siren if tampered with.
They were created by a German inventor in the wake of a spate of sex attacks on New Year’s Eve 2015 in Cologne .
Local media reported the pants have proven popular, with some online shops selling out of stock.
The demand has been partly attributed to fears after at least 22 woman were raped in the Germany city during a night of shocking criminality blamed largely on North African migrant men.
The advert for the pants reads: “Scarcely a day passes without headlines of sexual assaults.
“Only recently, a father in Kleve could barely prevent an attempted rape of his daughter.
“Brand new on the market of deterrence: underpants with a number lock.”
The pants are made with cut-resistant material and the lock means they cannot be torn down.
The alarm is automatically activated if the underwear is cut off.
But security comes with a price: the ‘safe shorts’ retail at €100 (£87.)
The pants have met with a mixed reaction among Germans.
One social media user wrote: “I think the idea is good. One never knows what is going on in these heads of the perpetrators.
“Yet honestly, it is actually bad that one had to invent such a doubtlessly well-intentioned thing.”
Another was more sceptical, saying: “What if the women are directly threatened with weapons and forced to open the lock if the perpetrators do not succeed?”
Similar safety devices, such as small alarm systems for handbags, have also gone on the market to protect German women from attacks.
About 1,500 police officers – ten times as many as last year – were on duty in Cologne on New Year’s Eve last year avoid a repetition of the previous year’s events.