Londoners face terror tax to pay for extra police

London, Aug 4 | Updated: Aug 5 2005, 05:30am hrs
As the city continued to be on high alert, Londoners face the prospect of a terror tax for Scotland Yards battle with the bombers and its protection of millions of travellers.

Householders will see a rise in council tax next spring or a dramatic cutback in police services unless ministers are prepared to find more cash for the force, media reported on Thursday.

We are in consultation with central government for extra funding. Obviously we have not got infinite resources and we will have to find the money from somewhere, a senior Scotland Yard spokesman was quoted in the Times, daily.

The cost of investigations into the attacks on July 7 and July 21 is already running at 500,000 pounds a day as 1,000 officers, often working 12-hour shifts seven days a week, hunt the terrorist masterminds. Detectives are being drawn from other operations, including fighting Londons crime barons and high-profile murders to relieve tired officers.

At the same time police are committed to a massive security operation as the threat level remains at its second highest amid concern that another terrorist cell is poised to strike.

Despite 37 arrests since July 21, security chiefs have set the threat level at severe specific and say that there is no alternative to maintaining appropriate police patrols in London.