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Thousands turn out across UK for spectacular new year celebrations

More than 100,000 ticket-holders watched London’s fireworks, while in Edinburgh, revellers braved blustery conditions for Hogmanay.

Thousands of revellers packed cities across the UK to see in the new year with fireworks captivating crowds in London and Edinburgh.

Crowds took to the streets to join lively celebrations amid preparations by emergency services to tackle one of the busiest nights of the year.

During the first hour of the new year, London Ambulance Service (LAS) said it answered 337 calls with a number of patients treated for alcohol-related illnesses and injuries.

The firework display in London featured a soundtrack dominated by women to mark the centenary of women being granted the vote, while cities around the world also had similarly impressive displays.

In Sydney – one of the first major cities to see in 2018 – a rainbow cascade was used to mark the legalisation of same-sex marriage, a light show covered the 828-metre Burj Khalifa in Dubai, while in Paris the Arc de Trimophe was the canvas for a firework and laser show.

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Fireworks explode over the Arc de Triomphe in Paris (Thibault Camus/AP)

More than 100,000 ticket-holders watched London’s New Year’s Eve fireworks, with songs by Aretha Franklin, Annie Lennox, Ariana Grande, Dua Lipa and Florence Welch among those included in the women-only second half of the world-famous show.

More than 10,000 fireworks lit up the capital’s sky during that sold-out event, prompting huge cheers from the lively crowd.

Scotland Yard confirmed fewer Metropolitan Police officers were working during this year’s celebration, but security at the event appeared tight, with armed police on patrol and security barriers erected.

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Revellers during the Hogmanay New Year celebrations (David Cheskin/PA)

In Edinburgh, tens of thousands saw in 2018 against the backdrop of Edinburgh Castle.

Underbelly, which was producing the event for the first time, promised the “best party ever” for the 75,000 people attending, with live music, DJs, street entertainment and the “ultimate fireworks display” from Edinburgh Castle.

Along with St John Ambulance, LAS said 295 patients were treated in central London over the course of the New Year’s Eve festivities, with many helped to sober up or given treatment for minor injuries before being discharged.

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Fireworks light up the sky over the London Eye (John Stillwell/PA)

Deputy director of operations Pauline Cranmer said: “It has been a busy night for us, and we’ve been taking up to 400 calls an hour, when we normally get around 250.”

Paramedics, meanwhile, were working from nine treatment centres in the capital to avoid clogging up A&E departments as crews now look to deal with what is expected to remain a busy New Year’s Day.

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Fireworks during the New Year celebrations (Victoria Jones/PA)

Addressing Londoners who could be waking up “feeling unwell after a heavy night”, Ms Cranmer said: “We would encourage them to consider using other healthcare services such as walk-in centres or calling NHS 111 for health advice to ensure our medics are free and able to respond to the patients in serious and life-threatening conditions.”

Greater Manchester Police’s City Centre division said a man who got his car stuck on a rising bollard was among the 15 who ended up in cells on New Year’s Day.

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Revellers enjoying the funfair ahead of the Hogmanay New Year fireworks in Edinburgh (David Cheskin/PA)

The force said the “vast majority” ushered in 2018 in great spirits, but a small number of people “couldn’t behave”.

They included three people being arrested on suspicion of being drunk and disorderly, eight people on suspicion of assault – of which three were domestic violence – and a 26-year-old man arrested on suspicion of illegally entering the UK.

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