LAWFUEL – Legal Newswire Service – After nearly twelve months in the planning the Met is getting ready to take to the streets to see in 2008.
Working closely with all the agencies involved in delivering the New Year’s Eve celebrations in central London months of joint planning has taken place to make the 31st December as safe and as enjoyable as can be.
Last year in the region of 350,000 – 400, 000 people filled the streets of central London. Some 3,600 police officers will be working hard on the night to help keep revellers safe.
Superintendent Andy Tarrant, spokesperson for the event, said:
“The nature of New Year’s Eve in central London has changed. What used to be a relatively small spontaneous night is now a world-class event. We’ve seen the number of people who come into town double over the last three years.
“Thousands of people will take to the streets of central London to see in the New Year. Our officers will be working hard with the stewards, and partner agencies to make sure that the evening is as safe and fun as possible.”
Police advise anyone coming to watch the fireworks or see in the New Year in central London to adopt the following simple tips to help make the most of their night out:
Like last year the event organisers will put in place an event viewing area along both banks of the River Thames. Once the area is full no one else will be allowed in. Consider coming early – last year the event area and other traditionally popular areas like Trafalgar Square were full by 2300. For information about the event visit www.london.gov.uk/newyearseve;
Check the weather forecast before leaving home and wrap up warm;
Don’t drive into central London, a number of roads have to be closed to allow the event to take place in safety. Roads will close earlier this year – from 1800;
Plan your journey in advance by public transport. Road closures may affect bus stops and the availability of licensed cabs. Check the latest travel advice before leaving home. Remember it will take longer to get home than you expect – some stations were still busy at 0200 last year;
Some people use the cover of crowds to commit crime. Don’t bring valuables with you and keep a close eye on all your belongings;
Arrange meeting points in case you get separated from friends and family. Don’t rely on mobile phones.
Assistant Commissioner Tarique Ghaffur, in charge of Central Operations, said:
“London hosts world class events and the fireworks and lights display to mark the arrival of 2008 is no exception. The Met delivers a world class policing service, supporting around 4,500 events every year in the Capital.
“Our officers will be out there on the night working hard to make sure that everyone in central London can see in the New Year safely, and that policing continues across the rest of London too. We wish you all the very best for 2008.”
Superintendent Andy Tarrant added:
“Sadly some people use the cover of crowds and the festive spirit to commit crime. People who drink too much can make themselves vulnerable to becoming victims. Don’t let that happen to you.
“We’ve got a dedicated team of detectives on duty on the night. An extensive network of CCTV cameras covers the event area and in densely crowded areas officers use podiums to oversee the crowds.”
Roads in and around central London will start to close from 1800 on the 31st December 2007. This is to facilitate the celebrations. Some parking bays will be suspended and the road closures may result in traffic congestion. Police advise people not to drive into the centre of town.
Maps showing road closures and the event area are available on the Met website – www.met.police.uk