Retired officers accused of 'gross misconduct' over Ian Watkins allegations will face no action

Three police officers found to have a case to answer for gross misconduct in relation to the handling of allegations about paedophile musician Ian Watkins will face no action because they have all retired.
David Hartley, of South Yorkshire Police, has apologised for how officers handled the caseDavid Hartley, of South Yorkshire Police, has apologised for how officers handled the case
David Hartley, of South Yorkshire Police, has apologised for how officers handled the case

The IPCC findings, made public after a draft was sent in error to The Yorkshire Post by South Yorkshire Police, said no disciplinary action could be taken against the three former officers as they “have each retired, following 30 years’ service”.

The IPCC, which found a child may have been put at risk of abuse for several months as a result of the inaction, has also decided not to release its full report into South Yorkshire Police’s failings, with the officers involved remaining unnamed.

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A fourth officer who is still serving is to face a misconduct hearing over alleged inappropriate remarks made to Joanne Mjadzelics.

Ms Mjadzelics said she was unhappy at the lack of action against the three retired officers and their being kept anonymous.

“I had my name dragged through the mud over and over again when they put me on trial but we can’t name them because they’re police officers? It’s not right and it’s not fair.”

IPCC Commissioner Jan Williams said: “Having taken into consideration the nature and seriousness of Ms Mjadzelics’ allegations against Watkins, the inaction of some South Yorkshire police officers involved may have placed a child at risk of further abuse for several months. The evidence suggests that there was a general view among officers at Doncaster that Ms Mjadzelics was not to be taken seriously, and consequently enquiries were not progressed as they should have been.”

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An IPCC spokesman said: “The full investigation report is not appropriate for publication because of the level of sensitive detail it contains. The IPCC’s investigation was lengthy and complex, involving examining interaction with other police forces.”

South Yorkshire Police assistant chief constable David Hartley said the force entirely accepts the IPCC’s findings.

He said: “Our handling of this matter fell far below the standard the public or we as a service would expect, and I would like to offer my sincere apologies to Ms Mjadzelics as she received a service that was unacceptable with no support.

“As a service, we are absolutely committed to working together to protect the most vulnerable, achieve justice, and prevent future offending. We take all reports of this nature extremely seriously. Ms Mjadzelics had a right to expect, and demand better from South Yorkshire Police.

“We wholly accept the recommendations set out by the IPCC in this report.”