Retired South Wales Police officer carried out breathalyser tests on himself to meet targets | UK News

A retired police officer who was having an inappropriate relationship with a vulnerable woman carried out breathalyser tests on himself to meet internal targets, a disciplinary hearing has heard.

The panel found in favour of gross misconduct allegations against former PC Julian John and concluded that he would have been dismissed from South Wales Police had he not already retired.

The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) investigated an inappropriate relationship the former constable formed with a vulnerable woman.

Their investigation began after the IOPC received a referral from South Wales Police relating to an allegation of an inappropriate relationship formed during the course of his duties as an officer.

Flirtatious text messages were found on John’s work mobile sent by him to the woman.

These messages were sent over a nine-month period and evidence suggested that he had stayed overnight at her property on at least one occasion.

The hearing was told that in mid-December 2019 John carried out two negative breathalyser tests on himself – which measures how much alcohol is in the air you breathe out – before he falsely recorded them as tests carried out on the public.

He said in an interview that he wanted to see if a mince pie he had eaten would impact his blood alcohol level, which the panel found to be “wholly implausible”.

They say it is more likely to have been a conscious attempt to inflate breathalyser figures during an anti-drink and drugs driving campaign over the Christmas period.

The IOPC’s investigation came to an end in January 2021 and found the officer had a case to answer for gross misconduct.

He retired from the force in March this year.

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Following the hearing held on 28 March, which was overseen by an independent legally qualified chair, John has been added to the police-barred list.