Cologne's Mayor Henriette Reker calls for additional security measures / Comment on condensed account
To clarify recent comments, Cologne's Mayor Henriette Reker spoke again this morning about the events and the first additional security measures that were presented yesterday.
"The assaults on New Year's Eve have made it clear that the city's security situation has deeply unsettled not just the people of Cologne but also visitors to the city and the local economy. At this point it should be clear to all those in positions of responsibility that the events of New Year's Eve outside Cologne's main station show that far more has to be done to improve security in Cologne, not only in heavily frequented areas and tourist attractions in the city centre, but in the city of Cologne as a whole.
Following intensive talks this morning with police authorities and ministries, it is clear to me that this is possible only by increasing police presence in Cologne and significantly improving security equipment in the city. I expect the police not only to investigate the events of New Year's Eve swiftly and ensure rigorous law enforcement, but also to take a critical look at their own response to the events and draw conclusions from this.
I insist on the introduction of concrete measures and projects that will make a realistic contribution towards increasing security in Cologne.
Immediately after the chief of police informed me at the weekend about the incidents on New Year's Eve, I called an emergency meeting to decide on initial steps to increase security, particularly in view of the upcoming carnival celebrations. The city of Cologne made it clear that it will do everything in its power to help the police carry out its task. May I remind you that a decision has already been made to increase our security forces by a further 100 staff members.
In dialogue with the State Minister of North Rhine-Westphalia, I will continue to urge the state government to actively support Cologne's activities to increase security in our city both with financial aid and additional human resources.
The agreed security package, which I presented yesterday, included among other things suggestions for prevention measures. However, I would like to emphasise that this is only one aspect.
The condensed statement presented in some media created the impression that my prevention initiatives were restricted exclusively to a code of conduct for women and girls. Nothing could be further from the truth. On the contrary, in response to a specific question asked by a journalist, I tried to refer to a range of prevention and counselling services that have been in place in Cologne for a number of years. Just one example is the campaign "Party safety for young women" (www.mach-party-safe.de). I regret that this representation might have been misleading.
I repeat: a code of conduct can only be of subordinate importance. Establishing security on our streets and in public areas has absolute priority.