City officials and police in Cologne are holding a crisis meeting following a series of sex assaults in the western German city on New Year's Eve.

Mayor Henriette Reker called Tuesday's meeting to discuss the police response to the assaults that occurred around Cologne's main train station, next to the city's famous cathedral, during the night.

Police say dozens of women have reported being sexually assaulted and robbed. At least 60 criminal complaints have been filed, including one allegation of rape.

German Justice Minister Heiko Maas called for the perpetrators to be held to account, saying the attacks were "cowardly and vile."

Green Party lawmaker Claudia Roth warned against blaming refugees for the assaults, which police say witnesses described as being committed by men of "Arab or North African origin."