Cologne security tight for carnival

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Cologne police have been issued with “body cams” to provide film evidence

Cologne has beefed up security for the city’s annual carnival, after many women suffered sexual assaults and robberies there at New Year.

The city in western Germany is putting 2,500 police officers on the streets for the week-long event.

Germany was shocked by the New Year assaults, largely blamed on migrants. Scores of women were victims – but the scale of it only emerged days later.

The disorder fuelled German unease about a huge influx of asylum seekers.

Migration to Germany from outside the EU soared to a record 1.1 million last year.

The Cologne disorder at New Year contributed to a slump in the approval rating of Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Police will be present at a new “Security Point” for women near Cologne Cathedral – the area where most of the assaults took place during New Year celebrations.

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Hundreds of women made allegations of sexual assault in Cologne after the New Year disorder

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Big papier mache figures will feature in the Rose Monday carnival parade

Police have been trialling “body cams” which can film suspects during incidents.

Mrs Merkel has been criticised by conservative allies – as well as by many opposition politicians – for having welcomed so many asylum seekers to Germany.

The many Syrian and Iraqi refugees generally get asylum, but many economic migrants from outside the EU are also trying to settle in Germany.

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