SINGAPORE - The use of large concrete blocks and other hard security measures to protect against vehicle attacks will be extended to more areas along Marina Bay for this year's National Day Parade (NDP) celebrations.
The extension will cover locations where a large crowd is expected to gather for the fireworks, such as the Marina Bay Sands waterfront, The Promontory @ Marina Bay and near Fullerton Hotel.
Previously, these hard measures were seen only near the parade grounds at The Float @ Marina Bay.
In other areas, police officers were deployed to guard against security or public order incidents.
Superintendent Tay Wee Li, assistant director of the police's major security events division, said that the move is in response to a worldwide trend of hostile vehicle attacks, such as in Nice in 2016 and in London earlier this year.
"The ease of getting a vehicle as a tool of attack is there. That's why we are protecting the areas where crowds congregate," said Supt Tay.
She said that past efforts by the police were focused on protection against unauthorised vehicles carrying improvised explosive devices.
The National Day Parade has been gazetted a "special event" under the Public Order Act, which means there will be stricter security measures in place in and around the Marina Bay area.
People attending the parade, for instance, will have to go through security screening and bag checks before entering The Float. About 25,000 spectators are expected to be there.
Entry points are located at the Helix Bridge, Temasek Avenue near Promenade MRT station, Marina Square and the Esplanade driveway.
There will also be stricter enforcement against the use of unmanned aerial vehicles, such as drones, in these restricted areas.
A new drone-detection system has been set up near the Singapore Flyer, which allows officers to mark out the general location of a drone operator.
This year, more than 5,000 personnel from the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF), police and Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) will be involved in managing the security and safety of NDP participants and spectators.
They are prepared to respond to improvised explosive device and chemical attacks, and treat and evacuate casualties.
There will be about 200 security cameras installed in and around The Float, which can be monitored real-time from the Command and Control Group 2 room.
Colonel Tong Yi Chuen, chairman of the security and contingency committee, said the Command and Control Group 2 room is the "nerve centre" for orchestrating and coordinating the non-show aspects of NDP. These include the safe passage of participants and vehicles onto the floating platform from the holding areas.
About 500 medical personnel from the SAF Medical Corps, SCDF and Ministry of Health will also be deployed.