Refugee rape fears spread across Europe: Women told not to go out at night alone after assaults carried out in Sweden, Finland, Germany, Austria and Switzerland amid warnings gangs are co-ordinating attacks
- Sweden has issued warnings to women to be wary of potential attacks
- 15 young women have reported being groped by men in Kalmar, Sweden
- Austrian police have come under fire after claims attacks were covered-up
- Finnish police say they have information that the attacks are co-ordinated
- Vienna’s police chief advises women not to go out on the streets alone
- Cologne police chief Wolfgang Albers relieved of his duties over handling of New Year’s Eve sex attacks
Security authorities are growing increasingly concerned by the rising number of sex attacks by gangs of migrants which appear to be spreading across Europe.
Finland and Sweden today became the latest European countries to issue warnings to women to be wary of the threat of sex attacks following fresh reports of sexual assaults in the last week, while the Viennese police chief adviced women not to go outside alone in Vienna.
The warnings come as reports emerged that Austrian and German police tried to cover-up the issue over fears of reprisal attacks on asylum seekers and damage to the countries’ tourist trade.
Dozens of arrests have been made today in connection with the wave of recent sex attacks across Europe.
Finnish police said today that they had been tipped off about plans by groups of asylum seekers to sexually harass women following an unusually high level of sexual harassment cases in Helsinki.
‘There hasn’t been this kind of harassment on previous New Year’s Eves or other occasions for that matter… This is a completely new phenomenon in Helsinki,’ said deputy police chief Ilkka Koskimaki.
Police in Germany are investigating more than 150 cases across five German cities where women have been attacked by the ‘organised Arab or North African gangs, police said.
Cologne has been at the centre of the problem with around 106 reported cases of assault by migrant gangs since New Year’s Eve.
Following criticism of the police’s handling of the violent clashes in Cologne, the police chief of Cologne has been relieved of his duties today.
Police chief Wolfgang Albers, 60, was informed by the state interior minister Ralf Jaeger that he would be given early retirement, a source told Reuters.
Further cases have emerged of identical sex attacks being reported in neighbouring Austria as well as Switzerland, where six women reported identical crimes in Zurich on New Year’s Eve.
Swedish police say at least 15 young women have reported being groped by groups of men on New Year’s Eve in the city of Kalmar.
Kalmar police spokesman Johan Bruun said today that groups of men encircled women on a crowded square and groped them on New Year’s Eve.
He said no one was physically injured but that many of those targeted were terrified.
He said two men, both asylum-seekers, were informed through interpreters that they’re suspected of sexual assault and that police are trying to identify other suspects.
When asked about similarities to the assaults in Germany, Bruun said: ‘We are aware of what happened in Germany but we are focusing our
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