IT is set to be the biggest and best Hogmanay party in Edinburgh to date, and a massive operation is being mounted to ensure the tens of thousands of people attending events tonight, tomorrow and on Ne’erday will be kept safe.

Police Scotland say there is no known threat but security precautions have been stepped up after atrocities in Manchester and London. Armed police officers will be visible to the public, and a no-fly zone has been imposed on the city centre with drones banned.

Those attending the main Hogmanay party are asked not to bring bags, and all the organisations involved say security will be the tightest in the history of the event.

Proceedings will get under way with a torchlight procession through the capital at 7pm tonight.

Chief Superintendent Kenny MacDonald, Police Scotland’s divisional commander for Edinburgh, said: “We would encourage anyone requiring assistance, or who witnesses any suspicious activity at any point to approach one one or our officers, who will respond accordingly.

“During both the torchlight procession and Hogmanay we will be utilising a range of local and specialist resources aimed at preserving public safety and deterring criminal activity. This will include armed officers.

“Please do not be alarmed by the presence of these professional and highly trained officers. They are being deployed purely as a precaution.

“I would again reiterate that there is no specific intelligence relating to a potential threat for either event.

“In addition to the police officers and stewards present on the evening a range of barriers and bollards will also be utilised, which prevent vehicles accessing the event arena. Again, this is purely a precautionary measure.

“All of the security measures taken on both evenings have been done so to ensure the iconic celebrations are delivered as safely as possible. For those coming along ... please ensure you plan your journeys in advance.

“Know how you are getting to your destination and more important, how you’re getting home. Dress for the conditions and remember that December in Edinburgh can be extremely cold, so wrap up warm.

“Please also remember to look after family and friends you are out with. Stay together and don’t venture off anywhere alone, or leave anyone on their own.”

Proof that Edinburgh’s Hogmanay is more popular than ever came with the news from Edinburgh Airport that arrivals since Christmas Day are up 5,000 since last year.

Airport chief executive Gordon Dewar said: “At this time of year our world-famous Hogmanay celebrations are a massive draw to those seeking to see out 2017 and bring in the new year in style, as our figures show.”

Charlie Wood, director of Edinburgh’s Hogmanay, said: “We are delighted that people are travelling from far and wide to join in our internationally famous new year celebration, Edinburgh’s Hogmanay. So far we have bookings from people in more than 70 countries who have made or will make the journey to be here.

“This year, as Edinburgh’s Hogmanay marks its 25th anniversary, we are throwing the biggest party yet from a refreshed torchlight procession climaxing in the big reveal of ScotWord, to new family-friendly event Bairns Afore. For the street party and the midnight moment [there will be] an extended fireworks display with its first commissioned soundscape, and more than 80 extra performers in the street party animating the whole arena.

“On January 1 the Loony Dook, which has attracted dippers from as far afield as Australia, Mexico and Brazil among many other nations, will cure hangovers and raise thousands for charities. This will truly be a massive celebration.”