An online petition has formed opposing the merging of Bromley, Sutton and Croydon police commands.

Bromley Liberal Democrats created the petition after condemning the Mayor of London's decision to create 12 Basic Command Units.

Over the next year the 32 borough system will be replaced amid financial pressures.

Chloe-Jane Ross, Lib Dem road safety campaigner, said: "Bromley is geographically the largest borough in London, and the police here are already under strain - we lost three police stations just a few months ago.

"Now our police cars will be expected to help in Croydon or Sutton - how on earth are they going to get back quickly enough to assist local residents?

"We all know how much pressure the police are under due to Tory cuts, but while this might be a possible solution in inner boroughs, combining Bromley, Croydon and Sutton would create a huge area which in our opinion is just too big for one unit to cover without their own dedicated resources.

"These cuts and this merger beggar belief - our police can not operate effectively on this and local people will pay the price."

According to the Liberal Democrats - Bromley police will only have one pursuit car during a chase and must rely on a second car from Croydon or Sutton to arrive if a second vehicle is required.

A chief superintendent, also the BCU Commander, will soon take charge of Bromley, Sutton and Croydon police teams.

Chislehurst MP Bob Neill called the decision a "mistake".

He told this newspaper yesterday: "It is completely illogical. To have a commander covering Bromley to Sutton is very strange.

"I think residents have a right to be concerned. It seems like more resources are coming out of suburban London and there will be more concentration on inner London.

"This decision was not forced on the Mayor. It is bad news for us locally. I'm sure the coppers will do as good a job as they can but that is not the point."

MP for Carshalton and Wallington Tom Brake said the decision to merge the police teams would be fought.

He commented: "It is a very bad move and I am very disappointed. It is essential to have a borough commander who is focused on the borough and the borough alone.

"Every borough is very different and it has very different problems and there is a real risk that this is a one size fits all approach. This would not be suitable for Sutton."

Scotland Yard say they are facing “significant financial challenges” and must make savings of £325 million by 2012/22.

Ealing, Hillingdon and Hounslow, along with Kingston , Merton, Richmond and Wandsworth will be the first two Basic Command Units introduced.

The Liberal Democrat petition can be viewed here.