Super police forces of the type favoured by the Government will see a shift in crimefighting to the cities and away from rural areas, it has been claimed.
Shropshire County Council warned that country towns and villages would lose out if the Home Office presses ahead with plans to form six or seven super-forces across England and Wales.
The new forces would be under immediate pressure to pour resources into metropolitan areas, where crime is high, at the expense of community policing in rural areas.
A council meeting next week is likely to call for the West Mercia force, serving Shropshire, Worcestershire and Herefordshire, to be saved in the Home Office reshuffle.
However, a report by council officers warns that West Mercia, with only 2,400 officers, is far smaller than the minimum-size regional force envisaged by Ministers.
One of the options under consideration by the Home Office includes merging West Mercia with the West Midlands, Staffordshire and Warwickshire forces - creating a super-force with 14,000 officers and 7,000 staff.
A fall-back position could see West Mercia merged with Staffordshire.
The county council report warns: "There is a concern that the force may be too large, be difficult to manage and may be unresponsive to local issues, particularly in low crime areas.
"It is difficult to envisage a scenario whereby policing resources would not be prioritised to high crime areas within a wider region and this would almost inevitably be to the detriment of low crime areas such as Shropshire.
"It is not clear how this reality sits with the stated objective of retaining highly visible community policing services.
"If maximising local responsiveness and local accountability are deemed to be the key criteria for support, then a strategic West Mercia force would be the preferred option," it said.