Pool Ban For Migrants After Women Harassed

Women are not even safe swimming it seems. Officials in Bornheim say women have filed complaints “over the sexually offensive behaviour of some migrant men at the pool”.

A German town has banned male asylum seekers from a public swimming pool after women complained they were being sexually harassed.

Officials in Bornheim, 20 miles south of Cologne, said men at three nearby migrant centres would be barred until they got the message “the right of women in Germany is inviolable”.

They said six people had filed complaints “over the sexually offensive behaviour of some migrant men at the pool”.

Public distrust of asylum seekers has grown in the country after hundreds of women told police they were groped and robbed by mostly Arab and North African men during New Year’s festivities in Cologne.

Markus Schnapka, deputy mayor of Bornheim, said officials have launched a campaign to teach migrants about gender equality and respect for women.

He said male asylum seekers would be banned from the town’s pool until they “got the message”.

“There have been complaints of sexual harassment and chatting-up going on in this swimming pool … by groups of young men, and this has prompted some women to leave,” he added.

“This led to my decision that adult males from our asylum shelters may not enter the swimming pool until further notice.”

Elsewhere, a carnival parade in Rheinberg, a town north of Cologne, has been cancelled after organisers said they would not be able to provide suitable security arrangements.

The event on 8 February was axed because the parade route would have passed an asylum shelter housing 500 residents, according to German media.

The gang attacks outside Cologne’s cathedral have deepened public doubts about Chancellor Angela Merkel’s open-door policy towards refugees fleeing conflicts in the Middle East.

Ms Merkel is under pressure to stem the flow of migrants, with several thousand entering Germany every day, sparking a backlash from right-wing nationalist groups.

Germany took in 1.1 million asylum seekers last year, mostly from Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq.