Ian Watkins: Inquiry investigating eighth officer

Watkins was jailed for 29 years last year for serious child sex offences Image copyright South wales police
Image caption Watkins was jailed for 29 years last year for serious child sex offences

An eighth police officer is under investigation over the handling of allegations against convicted paedophile rock star Ian Watkins.

An inquiry is looking to see if the Lostprophets singer's celebrity status delayed him being brought to justice.

There are now four officers from South Yorkshire Police, two from Bedfordshire Police, and two from South Wales Police facing gross misconduct notices.

Last year Watkins was jailed for 29 years for serious child sex offences.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) said the last officer served with a misconduct notice was a constable at South Yorkshire Police.

An IPCC spokesperson said: "Three South Yorkshire Police officers served with gross misconduct notices have already been interviewed by IPCC investigators.

"An interview with the fourth officer will take place in the near future."

The Pontypridd-born Lostprophets singer was jailed after admitting a catalogue of serious sex offences involving children.

Watkins admitted the attempted rape and sexual assault of a child under 13 but pleaded not guilty to rape.

He also admitted conspiring to rape a child, three counts of sexual assault involving children, seven involving taking, making or possessing indecent images of children and one of possessing an extreme pornographic image involving a sex act on an animal.

Image caption Watkins admitted the attempted rape and sexual assault of a child under 13

The IPCC said it has received a substantial amount of documentation from the three forces involved which is being analysed by investigators.

The officers served with misconduct notices are:

  • A sergeant and three constables from South Yorkshire Police
  • A sergeant and constable from Bedfordshire Police over their handling of information, who have not been suspended
  • Two South Wales Police officers, including a detective constable who was attached to the Child Protection Unit, it is not known if they have been suspended

The inquiry is looking at complaints about South Yorkshire Police's handling of three reports made to the force between March and May 2012 which contained allegations against Watkins with potential evidence.

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

South Wales Police and South Yorkshire Police said at the start of the inquiry that they were cooperating with the IPCC.

Bedfordshire Police added: "At the time of the original investigation there was insufficient evidence to apply to the magistrates for a warrant. A medical examination of the child did not reveal any evidence of abuse at that time. However, information was shared with partner agencies, including South Wales Police and child protection processes followed."

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