icon bookmark-bicon bookmarkicon cameraicon checkicon chevron downicon chevron lefticon chevron righticon chevron upicon closeicon v-compressicon downloadicon editicon v-expandicon fbicon fileicon filtericon flag ruicon full chevron downicon full chevron lefticon full chevron righticon full chevron upicon gpicon insicon mailicon moveicon-musicicon mutedicon nomutedicon okicon v-pauseicon v-playicon searchicon shareicon sign inicon sign upicon stepbackicon stepforicon swipe downicon tagicon tagsicon tgicon trashicon twicon vkicon yticon wticon fm

Special police unit to search Austrian refugee camps for Innsbruck sexual attackers

A special Austrian police unit has been established to help track the young men suspected of sexual assaults on women in Innsbruck's main square during the New Year celebrations.

The unit has been tasked with searching all shelters holding asylum seekers in Innsbruck and nearby areas in the Tyrol state in western Austria to locate the offenders, Euronews reported on Friday citing Innsbruck police commander, Martin Kirchler.

The officers will also collect and analyze video footage of the incidents, the official said, adding that while the police already have some amateur video of the attacks, they have appealed to the public who were at the square on New Year's eve to provide more video material to help the investigation.

Six perpetrators are believed to have attacked at least 18 women in Innsbruck's main square, despite the presence of some 90 security personnel.

The assailants, who surrounded and forcefully kissed and groped their victims, were reportedly to be in their late teens and have been described as being of Asian or North-African descent.

Meanwhile, most people in the streets of Innsbruck said they didn't feel a threat. Others noted that a threatening atmosphere, especially for women, was widespread across Europe and not only in Austria.

"I don't live in Innsbruck, I don't live in Austria, but in general in Europe I don't feel as safe as a woman going around, especially in the night, in the dark hours," a woman told RT, adding that she thought "the police should have been more effective and controlling" at the times of mass gatherings and celebrations.

READ MORE: ‘You could have prevented it’: Austrian politician to police chiefs on Innsbruck sex attacks

On Thursday, it was reported that Austrian Defense Minister, Hans Peter Doskozil had proposed tougher measures aimed at migrants and refugees in Europe. The minister called for a pan-European cap on migration, external refuge application centers in "third countries" and "protective zones" to hold and deport all those arriving illegal to the continent, according to Germany's Bild newspaper.

"We must completely rethink the asylum system," the minister was quoted as saying.

Dear readers and commenters,

We have implemented a new engine for our comment section. We hope the transition goes smoothly for all of you. Unfortunately, the comments made before the change have been lost due to a technical problem. We are working on restoring them, and hoping to see you fill up the comment section with new ones. You should still be able to log in to comment using your social-media profiles, but if you signed up under an RT profile before, you are invited to create a new profile with the new commenting system.

Sorry for the inconvenience, and looking forward to your future comments,

RT Team.