Ian Watkins: IPCC serves six police officers with gross misconduct notices

Ian Watkins: IPCC serves six police officers with gross misconduct notices

Police watchdog investigating concerns that former Lostprophets singer’s celebrity prevented his being brought to justice sooner.

The police watchdog has launched investigations into the involvement of six police officers in the case of the former Lostprophets singer Ian Watkins, who is serving 35 years for a string of child offences.

The announcement brings the total number of officers under investigation to seven.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) has served gross misconduct notices on officers from the South Wales, South Yorkshire and Bedfordshire forces. It is undertaking three separate investigations into the response to allegations that Watkins was abusing children. Watkins, who is from Pontypridd, was jailed in December for attacks described by the sentencing judge as horrific. They included the attempted rape of a baby.

Even before he was sentenced, the IPCC began investigating concerns that police forces may have been able to get to Watkins before they did, and it was suggested his celebrity may have led to officers not taking claims about him as seriously as they should have.

It is understood that allegations against Watkins were made as long ago as 2008, but he was not arrested until December 2012.

The IPCC said on Wednesday that three South Yorkshire, two Bedfordshire and a South Wales officer had been told they were under investigation.

The South Wales officer is a detective constable who was attached to the child protection unit and is the second officer from the force to be investigated.

The three South Yorkshire officers are a sergeant and two constables. The IPCC is investigating complaints around the handling of three reports made to the force between March and May 2012 that contained allegations against Watkins with potential evidence.

  • theguardian.com, 

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