Cologne is country’s stalker capital

Those who could not sleep after watching "Fatal Attraction" might want to avoid Cologne, where there are more reports of stalking than any other major German city, according to an analysis of police crime data.

Cologne is country's stalker capital
Photo: DPA

With 142.7 reports of stalking per 100,000 people, Cologne was well ahead of the neighbouring city of Leverkusen, which had 112.1 reports per 100,000, according to a report in the German version of “Men’s Health” magazine.

Among the country’s 49 most populous cities, Nuremberg had the fewest stalking reports at just 15.7 per 100,000 people, the magazine reported.

Hans-Georg Voß, a stalking expert at Darmstadt’s Technical University, said levels of stalking were largely dependent on social structures. Divorce levels and average income levels can also have an influence on statistics, he added.

“In Nuremberg, for example, there is a small-town atmosphere: The feeling that everyone knows everyone else,” Voß said.

“There is usually less stalking where there is less divorce,” he added.

While Frankfurt am Main has consistently had Germany’s highest crime rate, it ranks just 38th on the list of stalking reports. Hamburg and Munich are also well down the list at 25th and 44th, respectively.

The Local/mdm

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German man jailed for killing petrol station worker in mask row

A 50-year-old German man was jailed for life Tuesday for shooting dead a petrol station cashier because he was angry about being told to wear a mask while buying beer.

German man jailed for killing petrol station worker in mask row

The September 2021 murder in the western town of Idar-Oberstein shocked Germany, which saw a vocal anti-mask and anti-vaccine movement emerge in response to the government’s coronavirus restrictions.

The row started when 20-year-old student worker Alex W. asked the man to put on a mask inside the shop, as required in all German stores at the time.

After a brief argument, the man left.

The perpetrator – identified only as Mario N. – returned about an hour and a half later, this time wearing a mask. But as he bought his six-pack of beer to the till, he took off his mask and another argument ensued.

He then pulled out a revolver and shot the cashier in the head point-blank.

On Tuesday, the district court in Bad-Kreuznach convicted Mario N. of murder and unlawful possession of a firearm, and handed him a life sentence.

READ ALSO: Shock in Germany after cashier shot dead in Covid mask row

Under German law, people given a life sentence can usually seek parole after 15 years. His defence team had sought a sentence of manslaughter, rather than murder.

At the start of the trial, prosecutor Nicole Frohn told how Mario N. had felt increasingly angry about the measures imposed to curb the pandemic, seeing them as an infringement on his rights.

“Since he knew he couldn’t reach the politicians responsible, he decided to kill him (Alex W.),” she said.

Mario N. turned himself in to police the day after the shooting.

German has relaxed most of its coronavirus rules, although masks are still required in some settings, such as public transport.