Friday 28 April 2017

Oktoberfest 2016: Increase in sex crimes reported despite lower turnout

Festival staff in the Hofbraeu tent on the last day of the Oktoberfest beer festival in Munich, Germany
Festival staff in the Hofbraeu tent on the last day of the Oktoberfest beer festival in Munich, Germany

Samuel Osborne

The number of sexual crimes reported at a German beer festival has increased this year despite heightened security, according to local reports.

There were 31 sexual crimes reported to police at Munich's Oktoberfest this year, compared to 21 in 2015, news website The Local reports.

This year also saw the lowest number of visitors since the 9/11 attacks in New York, with 5.6 million people attending, 300,000 fewer than last year.

Security at the festival had been increased this year, amid concerns of terror attacks throughout Europe.

Authorities erected a metal fence, banned large bags, installed more surveillance cameras and made visitors go through security checks to enter festival grounds.

Germany has been on high alert following two Islamist attacks and a shooting rampage in Munich by a mentally unstable teenager in July.

The shooting spree left ten people dead, while a 17-year-old refugee from Afghanistan injured five people in an axe attack and a man blew himself up and wounded 15 people outside a music festival in Ansbach.

The beer festival was the site of one of the most severe acts of terrorism in post-war Germany, when a right-wing extremist set off a bomb killing 12 people, including himself, and injuring over 200 others in 1980.

Although the overall amount of crime decreased by 15 per cent compared to last year, the group "Safer Wiesn for Girls and Women" reported that 215 women asked for help at a security checkpoint. Of those, 18 reported experiencing violence.

At another Oktoberfest in Wolmirstedt, a man was reportedly "separated" from his ear in a knife attack.

Independent News Service

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