Police involved in the investigation into Lostprophets frontman Ian Watkins’ child sex abuse case will face disciplinary action over their handling of complaints made about the disgraced singer.
The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) ruled that a detective sergeant and two detective constables were guilty of misconduct – and South Wales Police has accepted the findings of the IPCC report.
Watkins, 38, was jailed in 2013 for a string of horrific sex offences. He pleaded guilty to offences including the attempted rape of an 11-month-old child and encouraging a fan to abuse her baby via webcam.
Officers also found a stash of child abuse videos at his home, some of which Watkins had made himself.
But the BBC reports that the IPCC examined how the force responded to reports and intelligence about the singer dating back to December 2008.
The IPCC found that a detective sergeant “did not take sufficient action to progress enquiries” and also contributed to allegations from a main witness being treated as unfounded.
The police watchdog recommended the officer should face gross misconduct charges.
Two other detective constables “did not undertake all reasonable and practicable lines of enquiry” and should be charged with misconduct.
IPCC commissioner in Wales, Jan Williams, says: “This has been a complex process. We probed a substantial number of reports and allegations relating to Ian Watkins made over a four year period to establish exactly who knew what and when, and how police officers responded.
“We aim to issue our fuller findings, including our examination of the wider organisational response of South Wales Police, following the conclusion of the misconduct proceedings currently being arranged by the force.”
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South Wales Police Assistant Chief Constable Jon Drake adds: “We accept these recommendations and will respond promptly to the investigation and its findings. This will include the progression of misconduct proceedings, to take place in the autumn.”
Children’s charity the NSPCC says the misconduct of the officers, if proven, is a”grave concern. The NSPCC adds: “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,”