Public safety will always be the top priority. As New Year’s Eve is just days ahead, Singapore Police Forces (SPF) intensifies security measures around Marina Bay area for the welcoming New Year countdown.
Photo: Facebook/Singapore Police Force
An estimated 400,000 to 500,000 partygoers are attending this once a year celebration.
With terrorist threats, suspicious people, and untoward events that may arise, there will be 700 police officers to be deployed ensuring the safety of all. A complete line-up of officers from the Special Operations Command, Public Transport Security Command, and Emergency Response Teams will be visible so as to manage the crowd and maintain order.
Aside from ground forces, an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) that can travel at 20m per second will also be deployed to serve as eyes in the sky. This would support police efforts in watching over all attendees as this specialized drone, which was tested last year, is equipped with a high-definition camera, blinkers, searchlights, and an audio warning system.
Photo: Screengrab from YouTube
Deputy Assistant Commissioner Gregory Tan, commander of Central Police Division, said the drones help police anticipate and adjust security measures for crowd movement, to ensure smooth passage for people.
“Over and above closed-circuit television cameras, officers’ perspectives and cameras worn by officers, the UAVs allow a higher plane view of the events and that’s very useful for crowd control operations,” DAC Tan remarked.
More than 20km of yellow fences and barricades will line the Marina Bay area for crowd control measures, directing both human and vehicular traffic. Also, 900 tons of concrete blocks will also be put in place against any vehicle attacks that may happen.
Regulations on the influx of people entering areas of The Promontory, One Fullerton/Merlion Park, Esplanade Waterfront Promenade and Marina Bay Sands Promenade will also be done.
Photo: Screengrab from YouTube
Roads will also be closed around areas in Marina Boulevard and Raffles Avenue and netizens will be updated every time regarding crowd situation just by accessing the police Facebook page.
With the intense presence of authorities, security consultant Dr. Graham Ong-Webb stressed that the public has to accommodate this and be understanding to support the recently passed law, Infrastructure Protection Act. The act gives security personnel powers to deal with threats in areas surrounding Singapore’s critical infrastructure and iconic buildings, such as Marina Bay Sands.
Ong adds: “The Act has provisions for special powers that allow the police and even auxiliary police to do random bag checks when required, and also to eject people who are deemed to be suspicious or who are perhaps behaving in a way that’s not in compliance with regulations for the greater public interest.”
The New Year’s Eve will showcase different events like light projection shows at the Art Science Museum and the Merlion, and concert at The Promontory. Next to Marina Bay Sands, the Marina Bay Carnival will also draw a lot of people, with 50,000 people expected to buy passes for the day.