Police in Leipzig, Germany, have been accused of victim-blaming after suggesting female joggers should run in pairs to avoid being sexually assaulted.
Their statement followed the brutal rape of a woman in her late 50s who had been jogging through the popular Rosental Park in central Leipzig last week.
The woman had been out for a run when an unknown man dragged her from a path, kicked her in the face and punched her, before raping her so violently she needed emergency surgery.
Outrage: Police in Leipzig have been accused of victim-blaming after suggesting women should run in pairs through Rosental Park, pictured, to avoid being sexually assaulted
In response to the attack, Leipzig Police spokesman Uwe Voigt said: ‘It is better to jog as a pair or at least to always look around when you might overtake someone.
‘Of course, people can still go jogging alone, but one should take care.’
According to local media, citizens and politicians were outraged about the comments and demanded the cops take measures against rapists.
Mayor Burkhard Jung said: ‘The state’s response to this inconceivable act and previous assaults must be: more policemen on the streets and in the parks as I have been calling for for years.
‘We all want to live in a city where it is self-evident that women can jog alone in the park, where everyone can move safely. And for that we need visibly more police.’
Bad advice: The statement by a local police spokesman followed the brutal rape of a woman who had been jogging through Rosental Park last week (pictured are joggers in Rosental Park, photographer at an unknown date)
Jung has said before that while his city has grown by 100,000 citizens over the last ten years, the Leipzig police force has shrunk by at least 200 cops.
Last year, the amount of crimes in Leipzig rose by 15,000 to 88,615 according to newspaper reports citing official crime statistics.
The police say they are ‘currently examining whether a photofit can be made with the help of the victim.’
The cops described the attacker as between 25 and 35 years old and dark skinned with dark coloured hair and an unkempt beard.
As of last weekend, the police received 12 tips, although none is said to have put the investigators on the right track to catch the rapist yet.