Artist News Legal

Police regulator reports on first investigation relating to Ian Watkins case

By | Published on Monday 30 March 2015

Ian Watkins

The Independent Police Complaints Commission has reported on one of three investigations it instigated following the arrest and subsequent conviction of one time Lostprophets frontman Ian Watkins, who was found guilty of sexual abuse against very young children. The investigations were launched following complaints that three separate police forces failed to properly respond to earlier reports of the singer’s crimes.

The first investigation to be completed focuses on the conduct of officers working for Bedfordshire Police. Joanne Mjadzelics, a former girlfriend of Watkins and a key witness in the case, said that police had failed to fully investigate, and to protect an eighteen month old infant, after she first made allegations against the singer and a woman known as “Miss A” in October 2012.

But the IPCC ruled last week that Bedfordshire Police did, in fact, take immediate steps to investigate Mjadzelics’ allegations, and to safeguard the infant in question, though two officers did fail to pursue all reasonable lines of enquiry, and to properly record why they had decided not to pursue said enquiries.

Commenting on the findings of the Commission’s investigation, IPCC Commissioner Jan Williams said: “Bedfordshire Police officers did respond in a timely way to the allegation made by Joanne Mjadzelics in 2012, and demonstrably had the welfare of Miss A’s child uppermost in their minds. Nothing was found by our investigation to say the force could definitely have prevented any offending, or contributed to bringing Ian Watkins to justice sooner”.

“However”, the Commissioner continued, “there were some more investigative steps detectives could have taken, including the earlier seizure and analysis of electronic equipment belonging to Miss A. The two officers subject to the IPCC investigation stated that they did not believe there were grounds to seize Miss A’s devices, and it is regrettable that they failed to document their decision-making in this regard”.

The IPCC then said that it agreed with Bedfordshire Police’s decision that the two detectives should receive “management action”, noting that the force was also providing briefings to officers within the force’s Public Protection Unit “as a result of learning from the investigation”.

Separate IPCC investigations into the conduct of officers involved in this case in South Wales and South Yorkshire are ongoing. Watkins, of course, was sentenced to 29 years in prison in December 2013 for crimes against children described by the judge presiding as reaching “new depths of depravity”.