WE all witnessed the widespread terror and havoc caused in London by this summer's terrorist atrocities.

And there is no denying that the Met, with its massive resources and expertise, was impressive on a number of fronts in the aftermath.

So it can not come as too much of a surprise to learn that Home Secretary Charles Clarke wants to merge forces across the country to try to replicate that successful model.

Lancashire Constabulary could be merged to become part of a 'super force' covering the whole of the North West.

But our local police bosses are right to express concern, notably because of the traditional gravitation of resources towards the region's two major cities, Liverpool and Manchester.

Acting Chief Constable Steve Finnigan told a police authority meeting yesterday that change was inevitable.

The meeting heard that whichever option was chosen by Mr Clarke, it would mean the end of Lancashire Constabulary, which was created in 1974, in its current form.

Lancashire Police has an enviable reputation for its work in tackling crime.

Indeed, its last Chief Constable Paul Stephenson was poached by the Met to become its deputy commissioner and played a leading role following 7/7.

Community issues, anti-social behaviour and the day-to-day issues which matter to local people must not be ignored in the haste to react to the threat of terrorism.