Criminal case dropped against former police officer who allegedly visited escorts while on duty

A criminal case against a former police officer who is alleged to have visited escort workers and massage parlours while on duty has been dropped.

Simon Gaffney, who was an operational officer for the National Crime Agency (NCA) based in Warrington, was charged in February 2020 with two counts of misconduct in public office after an investigation by the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC). He was alleged to have used the services of an escort worker or massage parlour while on duty on October 4 and October 29 2018.

According to two charges heard in court in December 2021, "whilst acting as a public officer, namely an officer of the National Crime Agency", Gaffney "wilfully misconducted" himself by "wilfully neglecting" to perform his duty. He is alleged to have done this by "contacting escort services and massage parlours whilst on duty" and then "absenting" himself from work "in order to visit and use the services of an escort worker or massage parlour".

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The St Helens man denied both charges and was due to go to trial in October 2022. However at a hearing held on June 14 this year, the case against Mr Gaffney was withdrawn.

IOPC Regional Director Catherine Bates said: "We note the decision taken by the Crown Prosecution Service not to proceed with the criminal case. This now brings the matter to an end. As Mr Gaffney retired in 2019, during the IOPC investigation, the relevant legislation does not allow for us to recommend disciplinary proceedings in this case."

The NCA is the UK's lead agency against organised crime; human, weapon and drug trafficking; cybercrime; and economic crime.

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