Expect tighter security at New Year events tonight
With at least three major New Year countdowns taking place across Singapore tonight, party organisers are marshalling extra security to ensure a safe environment for the massive crowds set to show up.
Partygoers can expect bag checks and long queues at entrances to the year-end celebrations.
The Marina Bay Singapore Countdown 2017 party will see a heavy presence of police and auxiliary police officers (APOs), as well as security officers, with two major roads in the Civic District - St Andrew's Road and Connaught Drive - closed for the night.
APOs are from private security firms and are trained to carry firearms, arrest offenders and manage crowds.
The party is Singapore's largest New Year event and is expected to draw more than 300,000 people.
The police said officers from the Protective Security Command and Emergency Response Teams will also be on duty at the party.
Mediacorp's Celebrate 2017: Countdown With The Stars, a street party at Suntec, will have bag checks at every entry point, said its senior manager of brand and communications Yeong Lai Lai.
The Siloso Beach Party countdown on Sentosa Island will also have tighter security.
Divisional director of operations at Sentosa Leisure Management, Mr Koh Piak Huat, said that besides enhanced crowd control measures, frontline staff are also trained to look out for potential threats.
Meanwhile, the police and party organisers have urged people to be vigilant and to report any crime or concern to the authorities.
Student Valerie Toh, who will attend the Siloso Beach Party with her boyfriend, is shrugging off the unavoidable snaking queues, saying the bag checks and extra security measures are necessary.
"It is definitely inconvenient but, for our safety, I think it is better to go through such procedures," said the 19-year-old. "Better safe than sorry."