A MASSIVE lobbying meeting with some 150 MPs is to take place in London today (Wednesday) in an attempt the save dozens of rural police services, including the North Yorkshire force.
The Government is pushing through plans to merge smaller police services because, says the Home Office, fewer, much bigger forces would be better equipped to deal with the threats from terrorism and organised crime.
It is widely expected that the North Yorkshire service could be amalgamated into one massive force covering the whole of Yorkshire, a move which has been greeted with horror by many country residents because they fear that already tightly stretched resources would be swallowed up by the big cities.
Members of the North Yorkshire Police Authority will be amongst those meeting with MPs asking them to pressurise Home Secretary Charles Clarke into recognising that fact that in widely-scattered rural areas, local knowledge is a vital tool - knowledge that would be lost in much larger forces.
They would like to see existing police forces retained but allowed to set up inter-force teams to specialise in counter terrorist and organised crime work.