The mayor of London, Ken Livingstone, has announced that there will be neighbourhood teams of bobbies on the beat in every London ward by April 2006. Teams will initially consist of a sergeant, a police constable and two police community support officers. The team will be expanded during the year to six members, as is the case with the 285 Safer neighbourhood teams currently operating across London. The crime rate in Tower Hamlets, the only borough which has a team in each of its wards, has dropped six times faster than in the rest of the capital. The success of the neighbourhood teams comes at a price: funding for the project is to come from increased council tax. For a Band D household, the increase proposed by the mayors draft budget would be 81 pence per week, some of which would also go toward funding the 2012 Olympics. The budget is up for approval at the end of January.
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