Western cities step up security for New Year’s Eve after year of attacks
London, New York and Las Vegas have all increased their police ahead of the New Year celebrations
Major cities in the West have stepped up their security plans ahead of the New Year’s Eve celebrations.
Earlier in December, terror group ISIL released a series of propaganda posters threatening to attack party goers in New York City, Paris and London.
Having witnessed four terror attacks in 2017, London is preparing for its annual fireworks show on the banks of the river Thames, which is expected to attract over 100,000 spectators.
Police in the UK capital will be increasing patrols, mobilising undercover units and putting vehicle barriers in place to prevent attacks seen at Westminster and London Bridge earlier this year.
"The safety of Londoners is the mayor's number one priority,” a spokeswoman for London mayor Sadiq Khan said.
"He and his team are in close contact with the Metropolitan Police, TfL and other key agencies, and we have appropriate plans for security in place.”
In New York, where an estimated 2 million people will gather in Times Square to see in 2018, security will be stricter than ever.
Times Square revellers will be screened twice on arrival, while Police Commissioner Jim O'Neill promised the public would be kept safe by the stringent measures.
"There will be much the public will see and much the public will not see," Mr O'Neill said. "The bottom line is, we will keep you safe."
New York City has seen two terror attacks since October, including a truck attack on Halloween, which left eight people dead.
In Las Vegas the National Guard is set to double its presence following an attack on October 1 carried out by lone gunman Stephen Paddock.
The mass shooting, in which Paddock fired down on music festival goers from his hotel room, was the deadliest committed by an individual in US history, leaving 58 people dead.
Snipers will be placed on rooftops to survey the famous Las Vegas strip as part of “unprecedented” new levels of security for the New Year’s celebration.
"Nobody puts on a New Year's Eve show like Las Vegas, and never will it be as safe as it will be this year," Clark County Commission Chairman Steve Sisolak said. "The safety measures in place are impressive."
France’s Interior Ministry said it would be deploying additional security forces across the country, focusing in Paris which was hit by a series of coordinated attacks in November 2015 that left 137 people dead.
Police arrested a 19-year-old woman in the French capital earlier this month, who was alleged to have been planning an attack on soldiers.
"In a context of high terrorist threat, guaranteeing the safety of both the French and tourists and allowing the smooth running of this popular and festive moment in a calm atmosphere, is a top priority," the ministry said in a statement.
In Germany a higher police presence will be felt than usual, while Berlin will see the introduction of a “safe zone” for women who are feeling harassed or threatened at the Brandenburg Gate party.
The move comes two years after hundreds of women reported being sexually harassed or assaulted in Cologne during the 2015/2016 New Year celebrations.
Authorities are encouraging women to come to the zone, which is being run by the German Red Cross, if someone touches or gets too close to them.
Published: December 31, 2017 03:36 PM