Edinburgh’s Hogmanay: Armed police on streets and rooftops as security tightens

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HUNDREDS of police officers will be on patrol in the streets and on the rooftops of Edinburgh city centre tonight as 75,000 people bring in the New Year in the Capital.

In recognition of the UK terror threat level being “severe”, road blocks have been put in place, while armed police were posted on some streets and buildings. In the air, a no-fly zone was enforced from 3pm to deter drones.

Revellers from all over the world were asked to “be alert but not alarmed”.

Stewards searched revellers entering the event arena and visitors to the city centre were told not to bring large bags.

Chief Superintendent Kenny MacDonald, Event Commander for Edinburgh’s Hogmanay, said there had been no specific intelligence to suggest a terror threat to the event.

He said: “We have hundreds of officers on duty tonight to support G4S stewards and make sure everyone stays safe at the Street Party.

“It’s a particularly large event, with up to 75,000 people attending and given the UK threat level still sits at severe, that is also supported by an armed policing operation.

“With the Street Party, we have observers on rooftops. They are predominantly there to look at the crowd dynamics and make sure the flow of the crowd doesn’t cause any issues.

“Given they are at an elevated position, they are in a perfect location to spot any drone activity. There is an air exclusion order in place and we hope that anyone with a drone would act responsibly and not fly it over such a large crowd as 75,000 people, which would be a safety issue.

“Some of the officers on the rooftops are part of the armed policing operation. These officers are specifically designated as observers.

“(Road closures) are about looking at the overall threat level in the UK being at severe and putting in place hostile vehicle mitigation where we can -- all part of our wider operation of keeping everybody safe.”

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