The Bishop of Shrewsbury has criticised plans to merge four local police forces into one super West Midlands constabulary.

The Rt Rev Dr Alan Smith said "a state of fear and anxiety" following the terrorist attacks in London was being used to push through significant changes.

Speaking at a service at St George's Church in Telford, the bishop said the public were being told it was essential to reorganise West Midlands, Warwickshire, Staffordshire and West Mercia Police forces into one constabulary as a result of the threat to national security.

He said: "I do not wish to trivialise the tragedy of the July bombings, if you lost a loved one in a terrorist attack it is the most devastating experience. But we need to keep this in perspective.

"In 2004, around 3,300 people died in road accidents, just under 3,900 people died in accidents in the home and in 2005, 37 people died in terrorist incidents in London.

"Yet the fear of terrorism is being used to justify all sorts of radical changes in the police forces."