- The Washington Times - Saturday, December 30, 2017

Germans who plan to welcome in the new year in Berlin will do so with “safe zones” intended to protect women from sexual assault.

New Year’s Eve parties two years ago in Cologne, Frankfurt, Hamburg, and other cities were marred by a slew of sexual assaults perpetrated by migrants from the Middle East and Northern Africa. German authorities seeking to avoid a repeat of the mayhem will staff Sunday night’s Brandenburg Gate party with Red Cross social workers and psychologists at a designated “security point.”

Assaulted women and those fleeing harassment can find refuge inside a “safety zone” at any time during the proceedings, BBC reported Friday.

Police documents leaked in July 2016 showed the number of sexual assaults across Germany on New Year’s Eve were much higher than initially reported.

Germany’s Sueddeutsche Zeitung newspaper and broadcasters NDR and WDR said that roughly 1,200 women were attacked in crimes involving over 2,000 men.

“There is a connection between the emergence of this phenomenon and the rapid migration in 2015. We have to presume that many of those crimes will never be fully investigated,” Holger Münch, president of the German Federal Crime Police Office, told Sueddeutsche Zeitung, The Washington Post reported July 11, 2016.

• Douglas Ernst can be reached at dernst@washingtontimes.com.

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