Tight security for Marina Bay countdown

Come Sunday, One Fullerton and the area around Marina Bay will be brightly lit and crowded as residents and visitors head for Singapore's largest year-end party.
Come Sunday, One Fullerton and the area around Marina Bay will be brightly lit and crowded as residents and visitors head for Singapore's largest year-end party.ST PHOTO: KELVIN CHNG

Police beef up crowd control as a large turnout is expected at the New Year celebrations

If you're heading for what has been billed Singapore's largest year-end party at Marina Bay on Sunday, be prepared for heightened security and rigorous checks.

A large turnout is expected at the New Year countdown event, with roads and lanes closed for the party to be held and the police deploying crowd control measures.

The Marina Bay Singapore Countdown 2018, which is in its 13th year and has drawn more than 300,000 visitors annually, will be held in the Marina Bay area and parts of the civic district.

Officers from the Special Operations Command, Protective Security Command, Public Transport Security Command and Emergency Response Teams will be deployed alongside officers from the police divisions during this period.

The police said in a statement yesterday that bags and personal items may be subjected to checks. They advised partygoers and the public to cooperate with security personnel, and to be vigilant against potential molesters. Partygoers are also warned against engaging in activities that may cause annoyance or compromise the safety of others.

Flying unmanned aircraft such as drones are strongly discouraged where New Year countdown events are held as they could endanger public safety, the police said.

As large crowds are expected at The Promontory, One Fullerton, Merlion Park, Esplanade Park, Esplanade Waterfront Promenade, Marina Bay Sands Promenade and other areas within Marina Bay, the police will be regulating the number of people entering these areas.

If overcrowding occurs, certain MRT station exits around Marina Bay may be closed, and crowds may be diverted to other areas.

The police advised the public to follow the instructions of marshals and police officers on duty.

Additionally, pedestrians will not be allowed to congregate on the footways along the Esplanade Bridge and Bayfront Avenue along the Helix Bridge, which will be used for transit only. The footway along Benjamin Sheares Bridge will be closed to pedestrians from 5pm on Dec 31 to 2am the next day.

Roads and lanes that will be closed to all vehicular traffic during stipulated times include St Andrew's Road, part of Fullerton Road, Connaught Drive, Bayfront Avenue, part of Marina Boulevard, part of Raffles Avenue, part of Fullerton Road, part of Collyer Quay, Raffles Link, Battery Road, Flint Street and Bonham Street.

Crowd control barricades and direction signs will be put up to facilitate the safe and orderly dispersal of crowds after the countdown events conclude. Transport operators SMRT and SBS Transit are rolling out longer hours on its train lines and certain bus services.

Suspicious people and activities should be reported to the Internal Security Department on 1800-2626-473 or to the police (999 or SMS to 71999). Information can also be provided to the authorities via the SGSecure App.

The police advised the public to remain vigilant against crime and and adopt the following crime prevention measures:

• Look after your belongings at all times;

• Be cautious of strangers when approached;

• Stay close to your friends or move around in groups;

• Avoid contact with unruly crowds; and

• Approach any police officer deployed or dial 999 for urgent assistance. SBS Transit's North East Line and Downtown Line, for instance, will operate for at least two hours longer than usual, to get revellers home from their countdown parties.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 28, 2017, with the headline 'Tight security for Marina Bay countdown'. Print Edition | Subscribe