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Mjadzelics 'vindicated' by Watkins IPCC report

Credit: PA

Joanne Mjadzelics says she has been 'vindicated' by an IPCC report which found that paedophile popstar Ian Watkins could have been brought to justice sooner.

South Wales Polce officers were found to have made "errors and omissions" and in some instances failed to "carry out even rudimentary investigation" into reports of Watkins's wrongdoing made by his ex-girlfriend Joanne Mjadzelics and other witnesses between 2008 and September 2012.

It is nine years since I first reported the crimes of Ian Watkins to South Wales Police. The IPCC report published today finally vindicates me and accepts that from the outset I was telling the truth and trying to bring a serious criminal sexual predator to justice. It has been a long and difficult road for me over these years during which I have at times been ignored and dismissed whilst at others maliciously handled and prosecuted by the police. All this has badly affected my health and welfare but far worse than the effect on me is that there was a four year delay between my reporting Watkins to the police and his arrest, time during which he remained at liberty able to perpetrate further crime.

– Joanne Mjadzelics

Mjadzelics was cleared of possessing indecent images of children in January 2015, having told Cardiff Crown Court she was trying to entrap the depraved singer.

She says she is seeking legal advice.

The IPCC report is alarming showing the widespread failings of the South Wales Police in dealing with me and others as witnesses in a case when the allegations are made against a celebrity. I truly hope that lessons have been learned by the South Wales Police as suggested and that others brave enough to come forward and make reports of serious crime against a celebrity or indeed anyone else are treated with the respect and professionalism they deserve and not, as I was, dismissed and defamed because they are not deemed to be the “perfect witness”.

– Joanne Mjadzelics

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Welshpool crash: Dead motorcyclist named as Melanie Roseanne Lakin

The family of a woman who died in a road crash near Welshpool on Sunday have paid tribute to her.

Melanie Roseanne Lakin, 29, from Glascote, Tamworth, was described as "a kind, caring and generous person".

Her motorbike was involved in a collision on the A458 just west of the Raven roundabout near Welshpool.

Melanie Roseanne Lakin was described as "a kind, caring and generous person". Credit: Dyfed Powys Police

"She was a keen motorcyclist who loved life, people, nature and animals" said her family.

"She had just completed her first year at Birmingham City University in Diagnostic Radiography, which she was thoroughly enjoying and was looking forward to a successful career in the NHS combining her love of helping people and a technical, visual subject."

Death of motorcyclist referred to police watchdog

Dyfed Powys Police voluntarily referred the incident to the IPCC Credit: PA

The death of a motorcyclist in Welshpool on Sunday afternoon has been referred to the police watchdog.

The incident happened on the A458 Llanfair Caereinion to Welshpool Road, near Cyfronydd. A female rider was pronounced dead at the scene. Her family have been informed.

A marked police motorcyclist was conducting a vehicle check and police say a number of cars were stopping behind the stationary vehicles.

Initial investigations show that a motorcyclist collided with a car, within the line of traffic behind the police motorcycle.

Dyfed Powys Police voluntarily referred the incident to the Independent Police Complaints Commission because a police vehicle was nearby at the time.

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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.

  1. Hannah Thomas

IPCC criticises police 'canteen culture' as pair sacked

Two South Wales police officers have been sacked for gross misconduct. It comes after an investigation into how they handled allegations that a former colleague had sexually abused victims of domestic violence.

The Independent Police Complaints Commisssion said its investigation found a unit at Merthyr police station had a so-called "canteen culture", where inappropriate comments and behaviour were viewed as harmless banter.

South Wales Police apologises for officers' conduct

South Wales Police has responded to the publication of the Independent Police Complaints Commission's report on the way officers dealt with allegations of sexual assault against a former colleague, offering "a sincere apology" to the women affected.

Detective Inspector Phillip Camm and Detective Sergeant Richard Jones have been sacked after being found guilty of gross misconduct.

Chief Constable Peter Vaughan said the force had been "deeply let down" by the officers' conduct.

He said they have now examined thousands of emails, and he is assured that their behaviour with lewd and offensive documents was not more common at the force.

From myself to our front-line, officers of South Wales Police are shocked and feel deeply let down by the behaviour of these officers. Let us be in no doubt, we owe the women affected a sincere apology as the conduct of these officers fell well short of the standards I expect from South Wales Police.

A number of offensive and inappropriate emails and documents came to light which were prepared by Sergeant Jones and seen by Inspector Camm, who failed to challenge them. I have to make it clear that this is behaviour I simply don't recognise within South Wales Police.

We have examined thousands of emails to see if such behaviour was more common. Quite simply it is not and evidently, the vast majority of our 5,000 officers and staff know that there is absolutely no place for lewd and offensive communication and it will not be tolerated.

Everyone throughout South Wales Police knows the values and standards which are expected from them, we train them in these standards and on promotion. I tell every manager that they have an absolute duty to challenge inappropriate behaviour and conduct.

Sergeant Jones and Inspector Camm failed to act in the professional manner that I expect of my officers. Their dismissals show that we will always be robust when it comes to staff misconduct.

At the same time, every year our front-line staff and specialist teams support hundreds of victims of sexual offences. Leaders across the force are ensuring that we do our very best to protect vulnerable people and respond to their needs.

– Chief Constable Peter Vaughan, South Wales Police
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