How to make the most of London's celebrations
The Metropolitan Police Service has issued advice for revellers bringing in the New Year in Central London.
The Met says around 3,800 officers will be on duty to prevent crime and disorder, with some officers watching over the crowds from podiums to spot any troublemakers.
Chief Inspector Robyn Williams, the Metropolitan Police spokesperson for the event, says: " If you're going to be outside for the fireworks make sure you wrap up warm as there is likely to be lots of waiting around.
"Viewing areas fill up really quickly and each area will be closed off by the organisers when full. If you are coming in to see the fireworks remember to set off early and give yourself plenty of time to get into the viewing areas to avoid disappointment.
"If you can't get in early enough, the fireworks are broadcast live on the TV so do consider watching them from the comfort of your own home.
"Locations like Leicester Square and Trafalgar Square often attract large crowds on New Year's Eve which can mean lots of people trying to get to the same tube and rail stations at the same time to get home.
"Consider walking to a tube station a bit further away as stations like Waterloo and Charing Cross may mean long waits.
"Road closures will be put in place in central London from 5pm. These have been agreed with the event organisers to support their plan. Public transport is the most effective way to get around town. Our advice is to leave your car at home.
"Make sure you agree a place to meet and do not rely on mobile phones as networks are often busy on the night - that way if you become separated from your friends and family you have somewhere to regroup safely.
"Sadly large crowds are a magnet for thieves looking for an opportunity to snatch bags, wallets and other personal possessions so be on your guard. If you don't need it, don't bring it.
"We want Londoners and visitors to the capital to be able to welcome in the New Year in a safe and crime free environment."
Assistant Chief Constable Alan Pacey, of British Transport Police, adds: "We want spectators to enjoy the evening, but stay safe as pickpockets will be looking out for those who are not keeping an eye on their belongings. If you are having a drink on the evening, try to stay awake on your journey home as thieves target those who are vulnerable. Keep bags zipped, phones away and wallets close to you.”
To plan your evening and for information and advice, visit the Met's website. The Twitter account at @MetPoliceEvents will also be updated through the evening.
Tips to help you enjoy your New Year's Eve:
= If you're coming to view the fireworks check out all the information you'll need on the organisers' website
= Don't leave it to the last minute to watch the fireworks as you are likely to be disappointed. The viewing areas are very popular and get full early on in the evening. Once areas are full event organisers will close them to the public. Wrap up warm as you could be in for a long wait.
= To guarantee a good view, watch the coverage on television.
= Tickets are not required to view the fireworks. If you are offered or sold a ticket, please advise a steward or a police officer.
= Most bars and clubs are ticket only or you need to book in advance.
= Travel around town by public transport, if you drive into town during the day you won't be able to drive home once road closures have been put in place.
= If you're travelling by public transport, plan your journey and check the times of your last bus / tube / train. Visit TfL's website for travel information.
= There is a huge demand for public transport at certain points in the evening - post midnight you may have to wait some time before getting on the tube or train so be prepared to queue.
= Criminals use the cover of crowds to commit crime - keep a close eye on all your belongings and only carry the essentials.
December 31, 2013