The Home Office has begun the process of mending fences with West Mercia Police following promises not to impose an unpopular merger on the force.
Chief constables from the four forces in the region met Police Minister Tony McNulty for talks yesterday.
It followed an announcement from John Reid, the Home Secretary, that he would slow down the merger process in the hope of reaching an agreement.
Plans to merge the West Midlands, Staffordshire, Warwickshire and West Mercia forces were unveiled by Charles Clarke, Dr Reid's predecessor.
He vowed that the consultation process would be over by the end of July and a new "strategic" force, covering five million people, would be in place by next April.
But Dr Reid has ripped up the timetable and promised to go more slowly.
West Mercia Police Authority has conducted a highprofile campaign against the merger, backed by the Chief Constable, Paul West.
Yesterday, Mr West was among those taking part in the meeting, in London.
MP Mike Foster ( Lab Worcester), whose constituency is served by West Mercia, said: "I welcome the approach the Home Office is taking.
"I have been pushing their case, and one thing I said was that we need to slow down the process.
"West Mercia doesn't want to merge, but if it is going to have to then it should be on a more appropriate time scale."
West Mercia Police has also launched a legal challenge against the Government's proposals.
The police authority is to begin judicial review proceedings at the High Court, in a bid to stop the merger process getting started.
The Government has pledged that the creation of larger forces, with the resources to tackle organised crime and terrorism, would be matched by new initiatives to promote community policing.