In a report published by the IPCC today, investigators said South Wales Police could have brought the Lostprophets singer to justice had they properly investigated reports from a series of witnesses.
The report detailed how Watkins' ex-girlfriend, Joanne Mjadzelics, went to the force numerous times between 2008 and 2012, even bringing in evidence of his offending on her mobile phone and laptop.
The IPCC today said that South Wales Police’s ‘assessment of Ms Mjadzelics, 42, as lacking credibility resulted in the force not taking adequate steps to progress reports’.
None of the reports from Ms Mjadzelics or other intelligence submissions about Watkins’ alleged drug use, possession of indecent images of children, and sexual interest in children made from December 2008 to June 2012 led to Watkins being arrested, questioned or otherwise required to respond to the allegations made against him.
Last week the watchdog ruled that South Yorkshire Police also ignored repeated warnings from Ms Mjadzelics about Watkins' criminal conduct.
And despite the IPCC ruling that the actions of three officers from SYP amounted to gross misconduct and that two officers from SWP had a case to answer to for gross misconduct, and one for misconduct - no action will be taken against any of the six officers for their failure to act.
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Ms Mjadzelics has today spoken out about her nine-year battle to be believed.
The mum-of-one said: It is nine years since I first reported the crimes of Ian Watkins to South Wales Police.
"The IPCC report published today finally vindicates me and accepts that from the outset I was telling the truth and trying to bring a serious criminal sexual predator to justice.
"It has been a long and difficult road for me over these years during which I have at times been ignored and dismissed whilst at others maliciously handled and prosecuted by the police.
"All this has badly affected my health and welfare but far worse than the effect on me is that there was a four year delay between my reporting Watkins to the police and his arrest, time during which he remained at liberty able to perpetrate further crime.
"The IPCC report is alarming showing the widespread failings of the South Wales Police in dealing with me and others as witnesses in a case when the allegations are made against a celebrity.
"I truly hope that lessons have been learned by the South Wales Police as suggested and that others brave enough to come forward and make reports of serious crime against a celebrity or indeed anyone else are treated with the respect and professionalism they deserve and not, as I was, dismissed and defamed because they are not deemed to be the 'perfect witness'.
"The IPCC report highlights what I already believed about how South Wales Police treated me and others and whilst I am pleased it is now in the public domain I am seeking legal advice on further action against the police arising from the series of events and my treatment."
Watkins was jailed for 29 years in December 2013 with a further six years on licence after admitting a string of sex offences, including the attempted rape of a fan’s baby.
Ms Mjadzelics stood trial for child pornography charges brought against her by South Wales Police in 2015. She was cleared of all charges, after a jury accepted her assertion that she was trying to trap Watkins and force him to reveal his crimes.
Commenting on the report, South Wales Police Assistant Chief Constable Jeremy Vaughan said it highlighted a number of failings “which the force entirely accepts and regrets”.
“South Wales Police failed to listen and properly investigate information about Watkins’ offending behaviour, for this we are truly sorry,” he said. “The review instigated as a result of Watkins’ arrest led to significant changes being made to the way we investigate crimes of this nature.”
Mr Vaughan said the force had invested in teams of dedicated staff who deal with child protection issues. “I am confident that police officers and staff who work in this very challenging area care deeply about the service they provide to victims,” he added.
“The work of the investigation team who brought Watkins to justice resulted in him receiving a 29-year prison sentence for his appalling crimes against children.” He urged people to report child safety concerns immediately.