Bromley is set to keep a dedicated emergency response team following the controversial police merger next year, it has been confirmed.

The Met Police says it will merge all of its policing boroughs into clusters in a bid to save £325m by 2021/22.

Bromley’s policing will be combined with Croydon and Sutton to create one of 12 basic command units.

The new system has come under fire by critics who claim it will overuse the already stretched resources of police – especially in a borough as big as Bromley.

Following concerns the mergers would compromise safety, the Mayor of London blamed the move on government cuts but said Londoners’ safety was being prioritised.

It has now been confirmed Bromley will continue to have a dedicated emergency response team following a consultation.

Emergency teams respond to 999 calls, and are different to normal neighbourhood policing patrol teams.

Councillor Kate Lymer, executive councillor for public protection and enforcement, said: “The sheer scale and size of our borough meant that a dedicated police response team for our borough was always the best option and this is what is now happening.

“Bromley remains a safe borough compared to many other London boroughs and we are committed to working with the police and the wider Safer Bromley partnership, including residents, to make sure that Bromley continues to be a low-crime borough.”

In June it was revealed the merger of the south London boroughs would go live in February next year.

Chief Superintendent Jeff Boothe, the south area BCU commander, said: “There is still much work to be done before the BCU structure goes live early next year but many of the elements are already in place.

“In addition to the dedicated emergency response team for the borough as a whole, each ward will also continue to have dedicated ward officers, who will tackle local priorities, all of which gives me optimism for the future.”

Chislehurst MP Bob Neill and Carshalton and Wallington MP Tom Brake both issued objections to the merging of the police commands – and the Bromley Lib Dems launched a petition against the decision.

Despite the police numbers dropping to just 30,000 officers, Paul Warnett, the Met’s safeguarding lead for BCU south, told a council Safer Bromley Partnership meeting in June that residents would not notice a difference.