"Police authorities have unanimously rejected the home secretary's plans to force these proposals through with indecent haste, and we believe there are also credible alternative options which should be considered very seriously."Some of them are happy to merge (fair enough, Suffolk and Norfolk are currently separate, but would happily work together, living under Devon and Cornwall for most of my life, two counties working together isn't too big), others specifically want to stay as they are (50% of those so far stating a preference). But, essentially, they want them to merge because:
Mr Clarke believes the force mergers will lead to more efficient police forcing, helping to combat terrorism and organised crime.Hmm, prevent serious organised crime and terrorism. Is that the sort of serious organised crime that causes people to be arrested for reading?
There's a good argument to be made that big problems need combined resources. Fine, let them combine resources, let them work together. But don't merge them completely; the whole point of British policing is it's local, not national. Centralise those bits that need it, but leave the local forces as they are. Those that are too small may need to merge, but others are about right currently.
New Labour: centralising everything for your 'safety' and 'security'.