A FORMER North Wales Police officer would have been dismissed, had he not already resigned, after gross misconduct was found proven at a disciplinary hearing.

An investigation by the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) began in October 2021 after North Wales Police referred the alleged conduct of PC John Kelham.

PC Kelham had been involved in the police investigation of two separate incidents involving a woman, who was a vulnerable victim of crime, when it was alleged that he had proceeded to engage in an inappropriate personal or sexual relationship with her.

During the course of IOPC enquiries, they found evidence that PC Kelham persistently sought to persuade the woman to take their relationship further, requesting that she meet him on numerous occasions, as well as making plain that he was seeking intimate contact with her.

In messages to the woman, he made many sexualised or lewd remarks, referred on multiple occasions to her appearance or clothing and sent her suggestive photographs of himself.

At the end of the IOPC investigation in June 2022, they found that PC Kelham had a case to answer for gross misconduct, for inappropriate contact with a vulnerable woman he met through his duties. 

PC Kelham resigned from North Wales Police in March this year.

At a hearing carried out at North Wales Police headquarters, conducted by an independent, legally qualified chair on Monday (March 27), it was determined the former officer had breached standards of professional behaviour and would have been dismissed had he not already resigned.

IOPC Director David Ford said: “Police officers are expected to conduct themselves professionally at all times and are rightly held to certain standards when it comes to their interactions with members of the public.

“Where an officer has used their position to pursue a sexual or improper emotional relationship with a member of the public, this represents an abuse of authority for sexual gain.


"Such conduct can cause substantial damage to public trust and confidence in the police and is particularly serious where the subject of the officer’s behaviour is targeted towards a vulnerable person.

“Our independent investigation concluded that the officer in this case abused his position by actively pursuing an inappropriate relationship with a vulnerable woman and the outcome of today’s hearing serves to highlight that such behaviour will not be tolerated and has no place in policing.”

North Wales Police also carried out a separate investigation into the conduct of PC Kelham, which was dealt with at the same misconduct hearing.

Mr Kelham will also be placed on the police barred list.