New York and Berlin are expected to be among a number of major cities that will be looking to tighten up on their security controls as 2017 comes to a close and the world celebrates the beginning of the New Year. With many revellers looking to beckon in 2018 in style at iconic landmarks such as Times Square and the Brandenburg Gate concerns have mounted as to how best to ensure the safety of those attending the planned events.

'Safe zone' for women to be introduced

Organisers of Berlin’s festive celebrations are keen to support women who want to attend their events by introducing a “safe zone” for the first time specifically for them.

The decision marks a determined move by those behind the Brandenburg Gate party, in the wake of concerns around several assaults that have occurred in recent years in Germany.

Shocking incidents in Germany

Many law-abiding Germans were shocked to hear that Cologne’s friendly new year’s Eve festivities two years ago were disrupted by many assaults and robberies, as authorities investigating the worrying incidents believed that women were being specifically targeted. Hundreds of women reported that attacks on them had been made by gangs comprised of men from migrant backgrounds.

Heightened security in America

New Yorkers also have their own reasons for flagging up potential security concerns ahead of the New Year party season. Police there have made it clear they intend to increase their presence with a larger security detail than seen previously in Times Square expected to be in evidence, a traditionally popular venue at this time of year.

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Americans will be wary after a year that has seen several deadly attacks on crowds of civilians, including one such incident at the very spot where the New Year’s Eve events will ring in the dawn of 2018.

Extra security protocols

Revellers already have to contend with a plethora of existing measures such as snipers, metal detectors and a multitude of officers tasked with inspecting bags brought to the event. This year the police department intends to go further in terms of their security protocols, as they utilise the skills of “vapor wake” dogs that have been trained to sniff out traces from explosives that would be emitted by people carrying bombs.

According to police spokespeople, the chances of car bombs being used to disrupt the celebrations will be mitigated against by emptying the 125 parking garages near Times Square and sealing them off before events begin. Officers will also benefit from the ‘eyes’ of around a thousand security cameras that have been installed both in and around the square.

Worrying attacks in 2017

The extra security has been deemed necessary as the city’s inhabitants cast their minds back on a number of recent terrorist attacks in the area. On December 11 a bomb was detonated in the city’s subway system that thankfully injured only the perpetrator himself. That followed on from a truck being driven on to a cycle path and killing eight people on Halloween before the attacker was shot by police officers.

Times Square itself witnessed a tragic incident back in May, as a man subsequently believed to have been under the influence of drugs drove through crowds of people and killed a young American tourist.