HOME Secretary Charles Clarke has acted with 'indecent haste' in forcing through plans for a single all-Welsh police force.
That's the view of Chirk councillor Ian Roberts who also chairs North Wales Police Authority.
All four Welsh police forces are to merge after Mr Clarke confirmed his plans to reduce Britain's 43 police forces to 12 despite strong objections from police authorities, individual forces and the public.
Last month, Prime Minister Tony Blair said some forces would not have to merge and he was prepared to listen to opposing views.
But Mr Clarke summoned Cllr Roberts, senior officers and fellow police authority chairmen to London on Monday to hear the announcement first hand that he was forging ahead with his plans, initially as a pilot scheme.
He called a meeting where the four Welsh forces were told to agree to amalgamate by Friday, February 24 or he will impose a merger.
But Cllr Roberts fears it will be bad news for the people of North Wales.
'Giving us a two-week deadline is an absolute nonsense, especially when the Home Office have failed to answer a series of very important questions from us,' he said.
'We are extremely disappointed that the Home Secretary appears determined to break the promise made by the Prime Minister.
'Mr Blair pledged in the House of Commons that no police mergers would be forced through. Now Mr Clarke says he wants to do exactly that.
'What's even more puzzling is that, last week, Mr Clarke said he would consider the possibility of North Wales Police merging with our counterparts in Cheshire.
'That idea has never been on the cards as far as we are concerned - all we've ever said is that we'd like to look at the possibility of building on existing collaboration.
'But all this confusion gives the impression that Mr Clarke is totally at sea over this issue and is moving with indecent haste. Quite frankly, it's a
'It comes as no surprise the assessment came down in favour of an all-Wales force as the parameters of the assessment were decided by the Home Office.
'In those circumstances, you can engineer any result you want no matter how diligently the work is done.
'One vitally important thing that the Home Secretary has failed to demonstrate is how scrapping North Wales Police would benefit the people of North Wales.
'On top of this, he has completely failed to answer fundamentally important questions on funding and how he would propose to equalise council taxes across Wales.
'These problems should have been resolved before proposing such a massive restructuring process which is potentially very damaging to the invaluable service provided by the police.
'Our very real concern is that the excellent performance of the police in North Wales would be badly damaged and that crime would start to rise again.
'I sincerely hope for the sake of the people of North Wales that Mr Blair does not renege on his clear guarantee that his Government would listen to the people.
'The message from the people of North Wales is loud and clear - hands off North Wales Police.