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Sexual harassment complaints double at Cologne Carnival

Police in Cologne have received more than twice the usual number of criminal complaints alleging crimes of a sexual nature during the first day of this year's street carnival.

A spokeswoman attributed the rise to greater awareness and sensitivity following the public uproar over sexual assaults in the city on New Year's Eve.

Twenty-two allegations, ranging from insults of a sexual nature to one claim of rape, were filed with police on Thursday and overnight. A Belgian TV reporter was groped live on camera by an unidentified person.

Last year there were 10 such criminal complaints.

Police spokeswoman Dorothee Goebel said: "The way people file criminal complaints has changed since New Year's Eve, and that's good."

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