A hard Brexit or no deal scenario could deny North Wales "important tools" for fighting organised crime and terrorism.

According to North Wales Police and Crime Commissioner Arfon Jones and his deputy, Ann Griffith, unless an agreement between EU and UK negotiators is reached, North Wales could be frozen out of up to 32 of the shared services used to target criminals across Europe after March 31 next year.

Mr Jones and Ms Griffith voiced their concerns at a recent meeting between the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners and the main security agencies, the Police Chiefs Council, National Crime Agency, the Crown Prosecution Service and the Border Control Agency.

Mr Jones, a former police inspector, said: “All these important tools we currently use for security and policing are now at risk and could soon be denied to our police forces.

“Brexit may risk putting UK and North Wales in jeopardy. After all this cooperation is used to help North Wales Police guard against terrorism, serious organised crime including modern slavery and human and drugs trafficking.

“A hard Brexit will mean starting from scratch, negotiating individually with each country and using instruments that we currently use for countries outside the EU and that will mean extradition will be slower and more difficult, and criminals will evade justice and will find it easier to operate in the UK.”

Among these shared services are the European Criminal Record Information Service - used 539 million times by British police last year - Europol, the European Union law enforcement agency, and the European Arrest Warrant.

Life could also be made more difficult for other joint investigation teams from agencies like Eurojust, which tackle a range of crimes from terror to child abuse and modern slavery.

Ms Griffith said: “According to Lord Jay, Chair of the Lords EU Home Affairs Sub-Committee, revealed they’d heard evidence that, by mid-May, the UK and EU negotiators had spent little more than an hour discussing the future internal security relationship, despite the obvious mutual interest."

"Keeping people safe has got to be our priority."

Mr Jones added: “If the negotiations run out of time without a deal there is a real risk of a crisis for policing across the UK and could leave North Wales increasingly vulnerable to serious crime.

“The Common Travel Area between Wales and the Republic of Ireland does not appear to have been given full consideration and nobody knows what the full implications will be.

“Crime does not observe borders. Serious and organised crime, almost always has an international footprint.

“Therefore, it is essential for criminal justice agencies and policing to work in close partnership both across Europe and beyond in the post-Brexit era.”