Hamburg/Los Angeles: Police departments across the US and Europe have promised tight security measures ahead of New Year’s Eve celebrations.
The New York City Police Department said it will have enhanced security in place for Sunday night festivities.
“The NYPD and its law enforcement partners will be increasing the number of observation posts throughout Times Square in order to proactively monitor elevated vantage points,” the department said on its website.
The heightened security measures follow a massacre on October 1 in Las Vegas, Nevada, where a gunman firing at long distance from a 32nd-floor hotel window killed more than 50 people at a music festival.
There are currently “no direct, credible threats to New York City or to Times Square,” NYPD Commissioner James P O’Neill said.
Officials caution that Manhattan’s Times Square will be bitterly cold, with a forecast for the temperature to fall to 12 degrees below zero Celsius by midnight, when New York’s annual ball drop occurs.
In Las Vegas, police are adding spotter teams and rooftop snipers during New Year’s Eve celebrations on the famed Vegas strip, Sheriff Joe Lombardo announced this week.
More than 300 national guard members and some 1,500 police officers will be on hand in Las Vegas.
This year there will be more quick response teams and federal intelligence personnel will provide support, Lombardo said.
In Los Angeles, setting off fireworks and celebratory gunfire are illegal throughout the city. The Los Angeles Police Department reminded residents and encouraged people to instead attend public fireworks displays.
Revellers in European cities will undergo bag checks, searches and other security measures before celebrating the end of a year that has seen terror attacks leaving police taking no chances.
Paris is sending out nearly 8,000 police officers and soldiers to keep the French capital and its surrounding neighbourhoods safe, police said on Friday. The measures are not only to prevent potential terrorist attacks, but also to quell any rioting.
French police will especially keep an eye on the Champs-Elysee, where an alcohol ban is in place. Revellers will undergo bag checks and concrete blocks will be set up to prevent vehicles from entering.
Across the country, 99,000 officers and troops will be on patrol, according to the French Interior Ministry.
The northern German city of Hamburg installed new security cameras shortly before New Year’s Eve along its Jungfernstieg promenade that allow police to watch the area in high definition and react quickly.
London police said in an announcement that people should expect to see armed officers, and vehicle barriers will be set up downtown.
However, the measures are not a result of any specific intelligence, said spokesman Phil Langworthy, and have been planned for months. — dpa