In response to the sentencing of 36 year-old Ian Watkins at Cardiff Crown Court today, Detective Chief Inspector Peter Doyle, Senior Investigating Officer, said:
“Today’s sentence reflects the gravity of the crimes that have been committed. The three paedophiles responsible for the terrible abuse of two babies have now been brought to justice.
“The investigation uncovered the most disturbing child abuse evidence I have seen in my 28 years as a police officer.
“The guilty pleas have ensured that the jury were spared from viewing evidence that would have been extremely traumatic.
“The safeguarding of children has been an absolute priority for the investigation team. Today’s sentence does not mark the end of our investigations and we will work tirelessly to identify any other victims or witnesses and seek the justice they deserve. In the last few weeks we have received further information that will now be looked at by the investigation team.
“There are also investigations being conducted by other police forces around the world including Germany and the United States.
“Above all this investigation has been focused on the protection of children and my thoughts today remain with those victims.
“We would encourage anyone who has been affected by this case or other cases of child abuse to contact South Wales Police on 029 20634184 or the NSPCC on 0808 800 5000.”
In response to the statement issued today by the Independent Police Complaints Commission, South Wales Police Chief Constable Peter Vaughan, said:
“Our thoughts today are with all of those affected by Ian Watkins’ crimes and those of the co-defendants in this case. The sentences handed down do not mark the end of our investigation and we will work tirelessly to identify any other victims or witnesses and help them seek the justice they deserve.
“In late 2012, South Wales Police initiated its own review into the sequence of events that led to the arrest of Ian Watkins. We identified that there were issues of concern and voluntarily referred the matter to the Independent Police Complaints Commission.
“Our initial review and the IPCC investigation pose a series of questions concerning the earlier handling of information concerning Watkins. It is those questions that the independent investigation now seeks to answer and it has my full support.
“We understand that there is genuine public interest and concern over this case and have discussed this with the IPCC. At this stage we have agreed to let their investigation take its full course and we will be in a position to talk more fully about the issues it raises once it has been completed.
“I am determined to ensure that South Wales Police protects vulnerable people and children, and we will respond promptly to the IPCC investigation and its findings.”
Statement by Mr Alun Michael, Police and Crime Commissioner for South Wales, in relation to the Ian Watkins case:
“This case has exposed a level of depravity and abuse that is beyond the comprehension of most people even in an age where we have come to understand the evil nature of child abuse.
“I have discussed the case with the Chief Constable and we are determined to weed out any abuse and exploitation wherever it occurs in the South Wales area.
“I support the Chief Constable in his decision to voluntarily refer the matter to the Independent Police Complaints Commission and when we have the result of that investigation I will do all I can to ensure that we don’t just learn the lessons but actively promote the fight against abuse and exploitation, working with every agency in our area as well as the Independent Police Complaints Commission and the Welsh Government.
“We need people to be active and confident in reporting any abuse to South Wales Police. That is the only way that this scourge can be tackled and perpetrators brought to justice.”