- Cologne mayor says police have ‘given up control’ of drug dealer hotspot
- He said police had focused on Cologne central train station but not elsewhere
- The Ebertplatz square has long been a troublesome area in Cologne
- A man, 22, was stabbed to death in a gang fight in the square on Saturday
- Both the victim and three suspects arrested by police are African migrants
A Cologne mayor has accused the city’s police of ‘giving up control’ of a town square frequented by drug dealers.
The critique came after a 22-year-old man was stabbed to death in a gang fight between African migrants on Ebertplatz in Cologne’s central Innenstadt district.
Andreas Hupke, mayor of Innenstadt, said police had been focusing on Cologne’s central station, where mass sexual assaults took place on New Year’s Eve 2015, leaving criminals to take over other parts of the city centre.
Critique: Cologne police’s focus on the area where mass sexual assaults took place on New Year’s Eve 2015 (pictured), has left criminals to take over other parts of the city, a mayor said
‘It can’t go on like this. Ebertplatz has been a trouble spot for a long time. The most recent incidents are a horrible proof of what the police have been saying – they can’t solve this problem alone,’ Mr Hupke said according to The Local.
Mr Hupke, a Green Party politician, added that police had ‘given up control of Ebertplatz’, a square infamous for drug dealing.
Police report that the area is frequented in particular by young men, and many of non-German background.
Local newspaper The Express reports that frequenters are ‘young men from north and sub-Saharan Africa […] some drug dealers are travelling there from asylum shelters from across the country’.
Abandoned: Cologne police, pictured outside the central station, were accused of ‘giving up control’ of Ebertplatz – a town square frequented by drug dealers
Police have referred to the square as an ‘Angstraum’ a term which literally translates to ‘fear room’.
The term is used to describe an urban space where there is a feeling of being under threat or risk of being a victim of a crime, such as dark underpasses or unsupervised carparks.
The man who was stabbed to death on Eberplatz on Saturday was a 22-year-old African migrant.
He was killed in a fight with at least five other young men of the same background at around 9.45pm.
Police arrested three men in the vicinity of the crime scene, aged 22, 23 and 25.