Investigations are under way to find out if three police forces should have done more to pursue allegations of sex abuse, dating back to 2008, against Ian Watkins.
Watkins, the 36-year-old former Lostprophets lead singer, is to be sentenced on Wednesday for a string of offences including the attempted rape of a baby.
Before his sentencing, the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) said it was investigating police forces in South Wales, where Watkins lived, but also South Yorkshire and Bedfordshire. One line of inquiry is whether officers failed to look properly into Watkins’s activities because of his celebrity status.
The IPCC’s commissioner Jan Williams said: “No one can fail to be shocked by the vile details of Ian Watkins’s offending that emerged in court last month.
“Questions are now rightly being asked as to whether Ian Watkins could have been brought to justice sooner, what steps were taken by police in response to allegations made against him as far back as 2008 and whether his celebrity status had any impact on the investigation.” He added, however, that the investigation was complex and would take time.
The IPCC has been in contact with another three forces – the Met, Essex and West Yorkshire – but is not investigating them at this stage.
The IPCC began its investigation into South Wales police in January following an internal review launched after Watkins’s arrest. It is looking at reports made to the police from members of the public, other forces and the charity Crimestoppers dating back to October 2008. A number of these reports originated from the same complainant.
The IPCC said a significant part of the investigation was focused on the actions of one officer, a detective sergeant, who is also being investigated in a separate case in which it is alleged that he failed to act on an allegation that a 15-year-old girl had been raped. The IPCC said the officer had been served with gross misconduct notices advising him that his conduct was subject to investigation.
But the IPCC is also considering the “organisational response” to the information held on Watkins and has made it clear that it is possible that other notices may be served.
The watchdog revealed that in March 2009, South Wales police contacted officers from West Yorkshire’s public protection unit requesting that they carry out a video interview with a member of the public who had made allegations against Watkins.
Read the full story at: http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2013/dec/18/ian-watkins-ipcc-investigated-police-lostprophets