Extra armed officers have been called in to police New Year’s Eve celebrations in central London amid a Europe-wide warning that terrorists could be plotting an attack.
Tickets have sold out for the London Mayor’s official fireworks display on the South Bank. Those without tickets are being advised to see the new year in at home or at bars across the capital.
Sky sources said some officers have had leave cancelled to bolster numbers. Around 3,000 officers will be on duty in central London, Scotland Yard said.
Superintendent Jo Edwards added: “Our policing plan remains under constant review and the public can expect to see additional police officers in central London, which includes an increased number of firearms officers.”
Retired Met officer Graham Wettone told Sky News: “Obviously if there is somebody with bad intentions from a terrorist perspective, the numbers of people … they can hide very easily.
“That’s where the searching regime – the visible deterrent of armed officers as well and a highly visible police presence can put those sort of people off and deter them from taking any actions.”
Meanwhile, Brussels has cancelled its official fireworks display after two men were arrested by police and accused of plotting to attack the event.
Paris has also called off its traditional display in the Champs-Elysees as it remains on high alert following last month’s terror attacks. The French capital will also have 11,000 officers patrolling the city compared with 9,000 last year.