A chief constable and former Aberystwyth copper has weighed in on why Welsh rugby fans should stop singing Sir Tom Jones’ anthem ‘Delilah’.
The Dyfed-Powys police chief, Dr Richard Lewis, backed Welsh Rugby Union’s decision to remove the song from the matchday playlist at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff.
Speaking ahead of Wales’ highly anticipated Six Nations match up with Ireland on Saturday, Dr Lewis - who began his career on the beat in Aberystwyth - tweeted: “There’s been a lot of misplaced criticism of this decision to stop singing ‘Delilah’.
“The song depicts the murder of a woman by a jealous partner.
“For context, approximately two women a week are murdered by a partner or ex-partner.
“It’s time to sing something else.”
His police force launched a major domestic abuse campaign before Christmas while other forces across Wales and England are hoping to draw the public’s attention to the issue – and encourage victims to come forward.
Tom Jones’ iconic 1968 hit has been ringing out at the Principality Stadium for decades, but has recently been criticised by domestic abuse charities.
It features the lyrics: “So before they come to break down the door, forgive me Delilah, I just couldn't take anymore.
“She stood there laughing, I felt the knife in my hand and she laughed no more.”
On Wednesday (1 February), a Principality Stadium spokesman said: "Delilah will not feature on the playlist for choirs for rugby internationals at Principality Stadium.
"Guest choirs have also more recently been requested not to feature the song during their pre-match performances and throughout games.
"The WRU condemns domestic violence of any kind.
"We have previously sought advice from subject matter experts on the issue of censoring the song and we are respectfully aware that it is problematic and upsetting to some supporters because of its subject matter."
It comes amid a difficult week for the Welsh Rugby Union which has sustained heavy criticism over allowing a culture of misogyny, sexism and racism dominate the decision-making body of the national sport.
In response to the announcement, Welsh Conservative Shadow Sports Minister, Tom Giffard MS, said: “The decision is a wrongheaded one that amounts to simple virtue signalling, designed to ease the pressure the WRU are currently under. Calls to ban the song span at least the last decade, yet the WRU have chosen now to act.
“What people have been calling for is institutional change, improved working practices and a better complaints process for the WRU, but instead they are choosing to ban a much loved Tom Jones song. This action will solve nothing.”
Office for National Statistics (ONS) figures show 5,600 domestic abuse-related crimes were recorded by Dyfed-Powys Police in the year to March – up from 5,355 the year before and the highest number since 2015-16, when comparable records began.
Wales kick off their Six Nations campaign against Ireland in Cardiff on Saturday at 2.15pm.