Extra security planned for New Year's Eve in Ottawa
Published Thursday, December 29, 2016 7:59PM EST
Last Updated Thursday, December 29, 2016 10:18PM EST
Ottawa Police confirm that recent terrorism in Europe has caused them to ramp up security measures in the capital ahead of New Year’s Eve.
The most noticeable changes are large concrete barriers that will block off important intersections. Police say the barriers will help prevent truck attacks like the one that killed 86 in Nice, France in July and the deadly attack on a Berlin Christmas market, which killed 11 people earlier this month.
For those attending the fireworks display on Parliament Hill, police will be checking bags.
Police will also have tactical units in place, their explosive unit on hand and officers in yellow vests, some of them armed with rifles. There will also be hidden snipers.
“Don’t be alarmed,” advises Insp. Murray Knowles. “Be alert and if you see something say something.”
Security expert P.Y. Bourduas, a former RCMP deputy commission, says that although the terror threat has not increased in the last three to four years, New Year’s Eve does present a heightened risk.
“Large venues where people are enjoying themselves, enjoying our way of life are very attractive to terrorists who want to send a clear message that we are not supposed to enjoy the way of life that is so Canadian,” he said.
In addition to the measures Ottawa Police said they are putting in place, Bourduas says police agencies will likely be “reaching out to communities, hearing what’s going on and if there’s anything out of the ordinary then it’s key that they try and connect the dots.”
Other cities are also putting extra precautions in place. New York and Cologne, Germany are placing dump trucks filled with sand in intersections.
Vienna, Austria has installed cameras and hired hundreds of private security guards.
London, England is closing roads and arming some of its police with guns.
With reports from CTV’s Mercedes Stephenson and CTV Ottawa’s Megan Shaw