Gift-wrapped roadblocks protect German Christmas markets after last year’s truck attack

Authorities in the German city of Bochum have gone to great lengths to beef up security for the Christmas market season. A string of 1.2-ton pellet bags, wrapped in bright paper, are in place as car barriers against potential terrorist attacks.

In an effort to make the bags look festive, local authorities in North Rhine-Westphalia decided to wrap the mundane barricades in festive paper and tie the packages with red ribbons. “Safety is very important at the Bochum Christmas market, but it was very important to fit in those ugly barriers into the beautiful overall atmosphere,” the head of Bochum Marketing, Mario Schiefelbein, said as cited by RTL.

Around 20 bags were gift-wrapped to protect visitors to the Bochum Christmas market, according to Die Welt.