West Mercia was left out in the cold last night as the West Midlands, Staffordshire and Warwickshire police forces and authorities signed up to the creation of a super police force.
All six signed the proposal to merge, and a detailed business case, which will be presented to the Home Office ahead of its deadline tomorrow.
But West Mercia Police Force and Police Authority refused to sign, opting to oppose the merge in favour of continuing as a sole entity.
West Midlands Chief Con-stable Paul Scott-Lee said that questions about governance and costs needed to be overcome before plans could go ahead, but that was no reason not to be in favour of a merger.
He said he did not believe that local policing would diminish under a super police force.
"We want to improve the local service of policing as well as closing the gap on that 'protective services' shortfall," he said.
"In the last 30 years policing has changed - we don't deliver local policing anywhere in the country on a force-by-force basis.
"We deliver in much more localised units - of which West Midlands police has 21."
The new force would have 20,000 officers and civilian staff. ..SUPL: