IF you’re one of the gazillion people planning to head into central London to watch the New Year Fireworks tomorrow night, get in early and be prepared to wait is the message from the Metropolitan Police.
Chief Inspector Robyn Williams, the Metropolitan Police spokesperson for the event, said: “This year we have witnessed the birth of a Royal baby, the funeral of Lady Margaret Thatcher and the hottest summer since 2006.
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“New Year’s Eve in London will doubtless be as popular as ever with lots of people flocking to the capital to see the old year out and welcome the New Year in.
“It is an exciting time of year and we want all who come to central London to have a good time. Officers will be out and about to deter criminals and keep crowds safe but we need you to do your bit to look after yourself and those around you as well.”
“If you’re going to be outside for the fireworks make sure you wrap up warm as there is likely to be lots of waiting around.
“Viewing areas fill up really quickly and each area will be closed off by the organisers when full. If you are coming in to see the fireworks remember to set off early and give yourself plenty of time to get into the viewing areas to avoid disappointment. If you can’t get in early enough, the fireworks are broadcast live on the TV so do consider watching them from the comfort of your own home.
“Locations like Leicester Square and Trafalgar Square often attract large crowds on New Year’s Eve which can mean lots of people trying to get to the same tube and rail stations at the same time to get home. Consider walking to a tube station a bit further away as stations like Waterloo and Charing Cross may mean long waits.
“Road closures will be put in place in central London from 1700hrs. These have been agreed with the event organisers to support their plan. Public transport is the most effective way to get around town. Our advice is to leave your car at home.
“Make sure you agree a place to meet and do not rely on mobile phones as networks are often busy on the night – that way if you become separated from your friends and family you have somewhere to regroup safely.
Sadly large crowds are a magnet for thieves looking for an opportunity to snatch bags, wallets and other personal possessions so be on your guard. If you don’t need it, don’t bring it. We want Londoners and visitors to the capital to be able to welcome in the New Year in a safe and crime free environment.
Here are tips to help you enjoy your New Year’s Eve:
1. If you’re coming to view the fireworks check out all the information you’ll need on the organiser’s website –
2. Don’t leave it to the last minute to watch the fireworks as you are likely to be disappointed. The viewing areas are very popular and get full early on in the evening. Once areas are full event organisers will close them to the public. Wrap up warm as you could be in for a long wait.
3. To guarantee a good view, watch the coverage on television.
4. Tickets are not required to view the fireworks. If you are offered or sold a ticket, please advise a steward or a police officer.
5. Most bars and clubs are ticket only or you need to book in advance.
6. Travel around town by public transport, if you drive into town during the day you won’t be able to drive home once road closures have been put in place. Visit www.met.police.uk for information on road closures that could affect your journey.
7. If you’re travelling by public transport, plan your journey and check the times of your last bus/tube/train. Visit www.tfl.gov.uk for travel information.
8. There is a huge demand for public transport at certain points in the evening – post midnight you may have to wait some time before getting on the tube or train so be prepared to queue.
9. Criminals use the cover of crowds to commit crime – keep a close eye on all your belongings and only carry the essentials.