Police cleared over failing to protect infant in Ian Watkins case

Police has welcomed the findings of an Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) investigation which concluded officers took immediate steps to safeguard a child.

Thursday, 26th March 2015, 12:09 pm

It was concluded that neither officer has a case to answer in respect of a complaint that they failed to protect an 18 month old infant, Child A, alleged to have been abused by Ian Watkins.

The investigation found that Bedfordshire Police acted promptly to investigate the allegation of 9 October 2012 that the child’s mother, Miss A, was allowing Watkins to sexually abuse her child.

However, the IPCC has recommended that two detectives have a case to answer for misconduct for not complying with force policy on recording decision-making, and not pursuing all reasonable lines of enquiry in the investigation into the Lostprophets lead singer.

Detective Chief Superintendent Mark Lay said: “We are pleased that the officers involved have been exonerated of any blame concerning their actions in safeguarding the child and that the IPCC recognised that the officers acted in the best interests of the victim.

“We accept the recommendations regarding record keeping and will put a plan in place to address the issues raised.”

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, there were some more investigative steps detectives could have taken, including the earlier seizure and analysis of electronic equipment belonging to Miss A.”

The IPCC has agreed with Bedfordshire Police’s decision that the two detectives should receive management action. The force has advised the IPCC it is providing briefings to officers within the force’s Public Protection Unit as a result of learning from the investigation.