The city witnessed an en masse sex attack during New Year’s Eve 2015
The German city is bringing in a host of stringent new measures in response to a culture of terror on the continent.
Cathedral provost Gerd Bachner confirmed from March 1 there will be a ban on large suitcases, travel and hiking bags into the cathedral.
Other bags will be subject to a more rigorous vetting procedure, and a private security firm will join the cathedral’s staff conducting random bag searches and pocket checks at the entrance.
Mr Bachner failed to elaborate what size bag would fall foul of the new rules.
Cologne: Sex Attacks and Robberies Tue, January 12, 2016
Thirty-one suspects, including 18 asylum seekers, are under investigation over offences including sexual assault and theft in Cologne on New Year's Eve. Far right protestors in Lepzig have rallied against refugees and German chancellor Angela Merkel.
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Protestors in Lepzig rally after over 100 women were sexually assualted on New Year's Eve
And despite the host of new measures being introduced, security doors would not be installed.
He told a press conference that people “must not be afraid” when they visit the religious building.
But Mr Bachner admitted: “We have to do more to ensure safety.”
A host of stringent new measures will be introduced in response to a culture of terror
He ensured that all stuff would still act “proportionately”.
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Some of the new measures will be permanent, but the cathedral added they had not yet signed a contract with a security firm.
And the new security guards, while they need not be Catholic, are expected to follow Christianity in some form.
We have to do more to ensure safety
The city witnessed an en masse sex attack during New Year’s Eve 2015, where over 1,000 complaints of sexual violence were made.
Hundreds of women claimed they were the victim of a sexual attack, reportedly carried out by groups of migrants, across the city.
Despite the massive volume of complaints and alleged victims, very few people were arrested or convicted in connection with the crimes, leading to an outcry.
The cathedral added they had not yet signed a contract with a security firm
Last December statistics showed some 1,222 criminal complaints had been investigated by police, of which 500 were sexual assaults.
The remainder related to violence and theft.
The city was also on high alert after the Berlin Christmas market massacre which left 12 people dead.
Cologne was turned into a ‘security zone’ after the Christmas market attack in 2016
Cologne was turned into a ‘security zone’ after the attack in 2016, which saw armed police drafted in to checkpoints amid fears of a similar terror siege.
Continental countries, particularly France, Germany and Belgium, have been rocked by multiple terror attacks over the past 18 months, leaving hundreds dead or injured.
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