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Those celebrating on New Year’s Eve to ring in the New Year in many parts of #Germany will see an increase of police presence in several cities in an attempt to prevent sexual #assaults by immigrants that plagued many cities in the past few years. The increased police presence will also focus on areas where fireworks are forbidden and they will be adding other security measures that were not present in previous year's celebrations, the Local DE reported.

Cities increased security

In the city of Cologne, there will be a security area set up where fireworks are not allowed and that area will extend to the city’s Cathedral, wherein 2015, numerous sexual assaults occurred in which hundreds of women attending that night’s New Year’s Eve celebration in the square, were victims of theft, inappropriate touching, and vulgar slurs by mostly Arab and North African males.

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The Cologne police chief stated that about 1,400 officers will be working that evening, video cameras will be used, and more well-lit areas will be provided. They are expecting a very large crowd, similar in size to those visitors celebrating the new year in the city as in previous years. In Düsseldorf, the ban on fireworks in the old town of Altstadt will still be in effect.

Berlin

The city will provide "safe spaces" for women who fear being assaulted or have been assaulted in New Year’s Eve celebrations in past years, mainly by immigrants.

Hamburg

Hamburg dealt with the same issue on #New Year's Eve that Cologne experienced in 2015, with German women being assaulted, as 410 women experienced assaults that were reported during the same period of the celebration last year. As a result, the city will increase their police presence along with a video surveillance system and areas that are dark will have more lighting.

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Munich

During the 2016 New Year’s Eve celebration, Munich, Germany experienced a terrorist threat, although the investigation was dropped a month later, due to lack of evidence. Still, the city plans an increase to the New Year's Eve security and will also focus on crimes that involve fireworks due to an increase of incidents where citizens were firing pyrotechnics at others.

Baden-Württemburg

In the city of Stuttgart, police stated that they will focus their attention on Schlossplatz square and around the central station area for any suspicious activity. Security plans will remain largely unchanged from previous years in Ulm and Karlsruhe and if any assaults occurred in previous New Year's Eve celebrations, none were reported by the Local DE.

Lower Saxony and Thuringia

In Erfurt, several large concrete security pillars will encircle the central Cathedral Square and in Lower Saxony, as in other cities. In Hanover, Germany, citizens will see more police presence, especially in the downtown city square.

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Assaults changed German views on immigration

The assaults in Germany made international headlines and generated repercussions against German Chancellor Angela Merkel and her open-door policy in agreeing to allow hundreds of refugees, most of them, Muslim, into Germany. As a result, a large increase in attacks was reported on 800 refugee homes, in just the first nine months of 2015, due to the number of crimes and assaults by immigrants against Germans. Moreover, there was a record number of Germans who rushed to obtain small arms licenses, and in Bavaria, the southern State of Germany, the number of applicants was so huge, that within the first few months of 2016, the number of applicants equated to the total amount of those citizens that had applied in the previous year.