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NSPCC express 'grave concern' over allegations of police misconduct

Children's charity the NSPCC says it is of 'grave concern' that the IPCC believes claims of abuse were not properly investigated and lines of enquiry which could have brought him to justice earlier were not pursued.

South Wales Police face misconduct proceedings over handling of child abuse claims Credit: ITV News Wales

“Serious questions have long been raised about how the police investigations into Watkins’ abuse of children were handled from the moment allegations were made.

“We hope that the misconduct proceedings are concluded swiftly so the IPCC’s full findings into how police investigated Watkins’ abhorrent crimes can be made public.

“It’s an incredibly difficult step to report child abuse so it’s imperative that when people do speak out, they have the upmost confidence that what they are reporting will be acted upon immediately.”

– NSPCC spokesman


IPCC: Did Watkins' celebrity status affect investigations?

The detective constable from South Wales Police who is being investigated for gross misconduct over the handling of allegations against Ian Watkins is the second officer from the force to face investigation from the Independent Police Complaints Commission.

We are making good progress with our three independent investigations and as result of our enquiries IPCC investigators have served notices on six further officers as part of the ongoing investigation – three from South Yorkshire Police, two from Bedfordshire Police and a second from South Wales Police. Arrangements are being made to interview the officers in the coming weeks.

We have now conducted two interviews with a detective sergeant from South Wales Police about his actions in relation to information about Ian Watkins. We anticipate he will be interviewed again in the near future.

We are continuing to gather and analyse information in all three investigations in order to establish what steps were taken by police in response to the allegations made against Ian Watkins, whether he could have been brought to justice sooner and whether his celebrity status had any impact on those investigations.

– Jan Williams, IPCC Commissioner

Six more police officers probed over Watkins 'misconduct'

The police watchdog is investigating six more police officers for gross misconduct over the handling of allegations against Ian Watkins, the former Lostprophets singer from Pontypridd, jailed for child sex offences.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission says it has served gross misconduct notices on a police officer from South Wales Police, two officers from Bedfordshire Police and three from South Yorkshire Police, telling them their conduct is subject to investigation.

Ian Watkins was sentenced to 29 years in prison for sex offences on children. Credit: South Wales Police

The South Wales Police detective constable was attached to the Child Protection Unit.

The IPCC says it has three investigations ongoing into the response of the three forces to allegations that Watkins was abusing children.

It is investigating the handling of three reports made to South Yorkshire Police between March and May 2012, which contained allegations about Watkins, with potential evidence.

It is also investigating how Bedfordshire Police handled information from a member of the public who reported an allegation of child abuse against Watkins in October 2012.

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Disgraced star applies for permission to appeal jail length

The disgraced rock star and former Lostprophets singer Ian Watkins lodged an application for permission to appeal. Watkins was handed a 35-year sentence for a string of child sex offences, including a custodial term of 29 years and a further six on licence.

Watkins was sentenced to 35 years, Credit: Tara Vickers/EMPICS Entertainment

Watkins, 36, was sentenced at Cardiff Crown Court last month.

He confessed to 13 offences and was described as a committed and determined paedophile.

His two accomplices, Woman A and Woman B, were jailed for 14 years and 16 years respectively.


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Ian Watkins begins jail term inside 'Monster Mansion'

Paedophile singer Ian Watkins started his 29-year-custodial jail sentence inside a prison that is home to some of Britain's most notorious sex offenders and killers.

Lostprophets singer Ian Watkins will begin his jail term today. Credit: South Wales Police/PA

While on remand he was at HMP Parc in Bridgend, but his permanent home will now be HMP Wakefield in Yorkshire, the largest high security prison in western Europe and nicknamed "Monster Mansion."

Other prisoners serving substantial sentences at the facility include notorious paedophiles such as April Jones' killer Mark Bridger and Steven Barker who murdered 17-month old Peter Connelly - also known as Baby P.

The prison was also where serial killer Dr Harold Shipman hanged himself in 2004.

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Ian Watkins' family 'hope singer can be rehabilitated'

The family of paedophile Ian Watkins will "not totally cast him aside", the singer's stepdad John Davies said, according to The Daily Mail.

The former Lostprophets singer in 2010. Credit: PA

Davies, a Baptist Minister, told the paper that while he could "cheerfully spend an hour knocking [Watkins] around a cell," the family are hoping the convicted child abuser can be rehabilitated.

He said: "The police said he wouldn’t think twice about hanging you or anyone else out to dry, why are you bothering, why would you want to stand by him?

"‘I said, because he is my stepson. Because it gives me an opportunity to seek some healing in a very broken family.’"

Mr Davies said his "heart ached" for his wife, who he said is seriously unwell after a kidney transplant.

"Ian had a very strong relationship with his mother. It is a very deep bond," he said. "My heart aches for any individual who has been drawn into this and been affected by it. And only time will tell who those victims are."

Watkins 'abused celebrity status' like Savile

Like Jimmy Savile, Watkins abused his celebrity status to get to his victims. A former detective who worked on the ITV investigation into Savile, has become closely involved in this case.

Mark Williams-Thomas is convinced that many more victims will now come to light following Watkins' conviction. The LostProphets star performed on a world stage, but were there any clues about his dark side? John Willats has been finding out.

Former Watkins lover says complaints fell on deaf ears

South Wales Police and two other forces are under investigation by the Independent Police Complaints Commission over the handling of complaints made to them about former Lostprophets front man Ian Watkins.

One of those who first blew the whistle on him was his former lover Joanne Mjadzelics. But she claims her complaints fell on deaf ears. Nicola Hendy reports.

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