Plans to cut police visits to school have been lambasted as “short sighted” and a “retrograde step” in crime prevention.

Llyr Gruffydd, AM for North Wales has joined forces with Arfon Jones, the North Wales Police and Crime Commissioner to call on the Welsh Government to rethink plans to cut funding towards the The All Wales Schools Liaison Core Programme, also known as SchoolBeat.

Llyr Gruffydd, AM for North Wales said: “Cutting this service would be a retrograde step, and it would undermine an important means to convey important messages directly to children and young people who might be affected.

“It’s disappointing that the Government doesn’t value the good work done by SchoolBeat.”

The programme is a jointly funded between the Welsh Government and the Police, and ensures visits primary and secondary schools across Denbighshire to discuss topics such as substance misuse, domestic violence, online safety, sexting and other key issues facing children today.

Mr Jones, the North Wales Police and Crime commissioner and chair of the All Wales Policing Group said: “I believe this is a short sighted decision without assessing the impact.

"It contradicts and goes against other Welsh Government priorities like the Adverse Childhood Experiences project and compliance with the Wellbeing and Future Generations Act.

"The decision should be reversed in the interests of the health and wellbeing of children and young people".

Mr Jones met with his fellow commissioners and chief constables last week to discuss concerns at the implications of the cut, resolving to continue funding the programme, albeit at a reduced level.

Mr Gruffydd added: “I urge the Welsh Government to show the same vision and allow these police officers to carry on with their good work.

“Prevention is better than cure and this programme will undoubtedly save a lot of pain in the longer term.”