A police officer who sent inappropriate messages to a woman he met on duty has been let off with a warning.
PC Kenneth Brogan pursued a relationship with the woman in October 2020 and sent her more than 100 texts and WhatsApp messages.
Some of the messages were considered inappropriate and flirtatious, used unprofessional language and indicated an attempt to engage in a relationship.
He further messaged the woman after she had made it clear she did not wish to receive further contact from the police, which caused her stress and anxiety.
Police culture and behaviour, particular by male officers, has been thrown in the spotlight after Wayne Couzens was sentenced to life in jail for the murder of Sarah Everard.
Watch: Sarah Everard murder: Shout out to a passer-by or wave a bus down - Met issues guidance to those concerned by lone officers
Couzens used his position as an officer to pretend to arrest Everard, handcuffing her and putting her in the back of his unmarked car.
He then drove 80 miles before he raped and killed her.
On Thursday the judge presiding over the case decided to hand Couzens a rare whole life order because of how he abused his position of authority as a police officer.
The Independent Office of Police Conduct (IOPC) investigation into Brogan began following a complaint referral from Avon and Somerset Police.
As part of that investigation, investigators analysed the work and personal phones of the officer and obtained screenshots of the messages from the victim’s phone.
They considered statements from the subject officer along with a number of witnesses, including the victim and her friends.
At the conclusion of the investigation in April, a report was submitted to Avon and Somerset Police stating that the officer should face gross misconduct proceedings.
At a police disciplinary hearing last week, led by an independent, legally qualified chairman, it was determined that the officer had breached the Standards of Professional Behaviour in a number of areas including integrity, authority, respect and courtesy, and discreditable conduct.
The panel imposed a sanction on Friday of a final written warning to be in place for five years.
IOPC regional director David Ford said: “Cases such as these have the real potential to impact on public confidence in the police.
"At the outset of their service, it is made clear to officers that it is inappropriate to have or seek personal relationships with members of the public they meet through the course of their duties.
"Our investigation assessed more than 100 text and WhatsApp messages from the officer and formed the view that PC Brogan had a case to answer for gross misconduct.
"The police disciplinary panel decided that the officer’s actions breached standards of professional behaviour and, as a result, have given him a final written warning."