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Asia Today ISSN 1861-4604 Friday, April 28, 2017

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High security envelops New Year’s Eve celebrations in all major cities across the world

After the recent Berlin Christmas market attack that killed 12

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LONDON, U.K. - As the world bids adieu to the terror-filled year 2016, law enforcement bodies across all the major cities in the world are blanketing celebrations with heavy security to avoid any untoward incidents.

After the recent Berlin Christmas market attack that killed 12, injuring 36 others, major cities in Europe and America get ready to be shrouded in layers and layers of security on New Year’s Eve.

London

At least 3,000 Metropolitan Police officers will be deployed in central London to prevent any ISIS-inspired terrorist attack on New Year’s Eve.

For the first time, Armed British Transport Police officers will be allowed to carry arms in Underground trains. 

Detective Superintendent Phil Langworthy said there would be “both overt and covert” measures in place on December 31 to protect thousands of people, who will gather for Mayor's firework display.

"Clearly we have been looking at what has happened around the world in terms of Berlin, Nice, etcetera, and have adjusted our plans and continue to adjust our plans,” he said.

"We police around 3,500 large events every year including New Year's Eve and we meticulously plan those events - we have meticulously planned New Year's Eve - and we look at our tactics and we look around the world and adjust our tactics if need be. We have a very extensive planning period, we plan for many months, pretty much we start planning since the last event,” he added.

Ken Marsh, Chairman of the Metropolitan Police Federation, said, “I can assure you that there is a big armed operation over London. There are more armed police this year than there have been ever before. There are far more bollards that have been put in place than ever before.”

New York

New York City officials said there will be 65 sanitation and salt trucks in place around the perimeter of Times Square to prevent any Berlin or Nice style attack. 

They will also dispatch 100 lighter ‘blocker trucks’ in the area for an added layer of protection. 

An additional 7,000 New York City Police Department officers will also be deployed to guard the perimeter.

The NYPD dismissed any threat on the New Year Eve but FBI and Department of Homeland Security remain “concerned about unaffiliated lone offenders and homegrown violent extremists targeting the event.”

“As we formulated this year’s plan, we paid close attention to world events and we learned from those events. And this year due to the terrorist attacks in Nice, France, and in Berlin, Germany, we’ve enhanced our security measures,” said NYPD Chief Carlos Gomez.

Germany

In Berlin, police closed the Pariser Platz square in front of the Brandenburg Gate. Authorities said, there will be an extra 1,700 officers present on the evening. 

They have also prepared armoured cars and concrete blocks to secure the area.

Berlin police spokesperson, Thomas Neuendorf said, “Every measure is being taken to prevent a possible attack,” and added that some police officers will also carry sub-machine guns.

In the west German city of Cologne, police have installed new video surveillance cameras to monitor the station square in a bid to avoid last year’s sexual assault and robbery.

Milan

In the Italian business capital, where police shot dead the Berlin attacker, there will be extra security checks around the main square. 

Authorities have also banned Trucks at the centres of Rome and Naples. 

Police and soldiers with machine guns will also deployed for protection.

Madrid

The Spanish capital will have an extra 1,600 police deployed on the weekend and for second consecutive year, city’s central Puerta del Sol square access will be restricted to 25,000 people. 

Police will also set up barricades to control access.   

Brussels

In the city that houses the European Union headquarters, where ISIS suicide bombers killed 150 in March this year, the mayor said he would review whether the New Year fireworks should be cancelled. But later he decided to go ahead with the tradition.

Paris

In Paris, after the attack in November last year, authorities have planned a high-security weekend. 

Additional police force and security officials will be present to protect around 600,000 people attending the fireworks on the Champs-Elysees. Extra security will also be in place at places like Eiffel Tower, the Arc de Triomphe and the Louvre museum. 

A total of 90,000 police officers and thousands of soldiers will be deployed on the New Year’s Eve.

Vienna

In Austria’s capital, authorities distributed more than a thousand pocket alarms to women to avoid sexual assault. 

The city witnessed multiple sexual assaults last year on the New Year’s Eve.

“At present, there is no evidence of any specific danger in Austria. However, we are talking about an increased risk situation. We leave nothing to chance with regard to security,” Interior Minister Wolfgang Sobotka said.

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