The New Year’s Eve assaults in Cologne and elsewhere blamed largely on foreigners were not linked to organised crime, a top German police official has said.
Authorities are looking into whether the robberies and sexual assaults by groups of men in Cologne were co-ordinated or linked to smaller-scale incidents in other cities.
Holger Muench, the head of Germany’s Federal Criminal Police Office, told RBB Inforadio that “the same conditions were in place at different locations”, with crowds of people gathering to celebrate the New Year.
But he added: “I am not saying that there was no organisation, but it is not organised crime – that would have a different quality for me, we would be talking about... hierarchical groups.”
The assaults have heightened tensions over Germany’s migrant influx.