Revellers should be alert, but not alarmed as they come in to Sydney this New Year’s Eve, police say.
About 1.6 million people are expected to descend upon the city to watch the fireworks and partake in the festivities.
In light of the recent Sydney siege and heightened terror alerts, police say they are prepared and will be out in force to make sure people feel safe in the city during the celebrations.
“We’ve worked hard in relation to counterterrorism issues at a national level and even at an international level and we understand the environment we live in, we’re not blind to that,” Acting Deputy Commissioner Jeff Loy said on Tuesday.
There will be more than 3000 officers working in the city on New Year’s Eve which a police spokeswoman said is an increase of about 100 on last year.
This is based on reviews following last year’s event on how best to manage the evening.
While police say the number one risk to community safety over new year is alcohol-related violence, they are asking that people be vigilant on the night.
“We’re not oblivious to the risks at hand and we’re asking people to be alert and not alarmed and to come in and enjoy the night,” Acting Deputy Commissioner Jeff Loy said.
The lockout laws will also be relaxed on the night with the 1.30am lockout extended until 3am, which Commissioner Loy said was to keep crowds moving.
“We are very concerned about the public safety … in relation to trampling in the rush to get to venues, ” he said.
NSW Ambulance has also increased its manpower for what it says is the busiest night of the year, with more than 1000 calls expected.