Police presence stepped up for Edinburgh's Hogmanay party

Police are set to provide a much more visible presence in Edinburgh city centre on Hogmanay on the wake of the festive terror attack in Germany.

Thursday, 29th December 2016, 5:45 pm
Updated Wednesday, 11th January 2017, 4:09 am
Around 150,000 people are expected to flock into Edinburgh city centre on 30 December and Hogmanay.

Officers will be out in force at entry points to the 75,000 capacity arena following a security review since the atrocity in Berlin, which claimed 12 lives at a Christmas market.

The event commander has urged revellers to to report “any form of suspicious activity” to uniformed officers on duty at the street party, which will run from 7pm till 1am.

Around 600 security guards will also be on duty within the event arena, which covers Princes Street, the High Street, The Mound, Castle Street, Frederick Street, the Waverley Stage and Princes Street Gardens.

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Police are also expected to be on alert at two major “Night Afore” events - a torchlight parade through the city centre expected to attract more than 50,000 people and a sell-out Paolo Nutini concert, which another 10,000 revellers will attend in Princes Street Gardens.

Sources said there would a noticeable increase in the visibility of police officers at the event, but pointed out that the highest security measures have had to be deployed for years to ensure the safety of crowds flocking into the city centre.

Chief Superintendent Kenny MacDonald, the event commander, said: “As always, we review what is going on across Europe and around the world to make sure we deliver a safe event.

“All contingencies are considered and the plans we have put in place are proportionate and appropriate.

“Overall, the deployment of police and stewards this year will be broadly similar to last year.

“We will have a proportionate and appropriate number of officers deployed to the event to ensure the safety of people.

“They will be very visible and will be there for the public to approach if they need any kind of support.

“The UK threat level, which has been at severe for some time, means an attack is highly likely, but there is no intelligence to suggest a specific threat to this event at all. Our advice is for people to be alert but not alarmed.”