THE chief constable of Dyfed-Powys Police says his goal is to eradicate domestic abuse across mid and west Wales.
Dr Richard Lewis, who began his policing career in Aberystwyth, says it could take a generation to end domestic violence and believes the work needs to start now.
His views came as part of an access all areas three-part S4C show, Y Prif, which aired the first episode on Tuesday evening.
Dr Lewis was appointed in 2021, with a brief to transform the performance of his force that is responsible for policing two thirds of Wales.
Dr Lewis is known as an outspoken and controversial figure.
The 48-year-old chief constable, who began his policing career on the streets of Aberystwyth in 2000, has gone on record to set ambitious targets within his own force.
The most far-reaching and challenging is his bid to eradicate domestic abuse in the Dyfed-Powys area.
He admits to scepticism and criticism within his own force in relation to the ambitious target.
He says: “People tell me it’s an impossible task to try and get rid of domestic abuse completely.
“’Why are you saying that?’, they ask. ‘You’re making my work impossible.’ They just think it’s not realistic, we’re never going to achieve it, and that it’s pie in the sky.”
But he concedes that it will take time to reach his goal of eradicating domestic abuse.
“It may take a generation. It’s a project that will take years, but it’s a project that’s worth starting now. We are the first police force to state publicly that this is our aim.”
The chief constable has created media headlines on his controversial views.
In February this year, he provoked a storm on Twitter by suggesting a ban on Delilah being sung during international rugby matches at Wales’ Principality Stadium, due to its misogynistic undertones.
The tweet was seen by 3.5 million people, sparking over 10,000 responses.
“I know that everyone won’t agree with me, but some of those responses were over the top,” he claims.
Despite the negativity and personal abuse he received online – being branded a “disgrace” and “woke” – he maintains he has no regrets.
“It’s very easy in a job like mine to hide away in an office away from people and to say nothing,” he says.
“I can draw attention to important subjects such as domestic abuse.
“If one person sees that tweet supporting victims of domestic abuse, and if one person as a result calls the police, then it’s worthwhile having 10,000 people shouting in my face.”
In the first episode of the three-part series, Dr Lewis goes on patrol to assess the challenges facing Dyfed-Powys Police force as he starts the work of transforming the force.
In the second episode, we follow the chief constable as he tackles drug use, and the last episode looks at the challenges of policing domestic abuse.