Did Met Police Cover Up Epstein's Crimes In The UK?
A new investigation by the U.K. news outlet Channel 4 News has uncovered more than half a dozen claims that young women and girls in the UK were targeted, trafficked, groomed, raped, or abused by the U.S. child trafficker Jeffrey Epstein and the UK's Ghislaine Maxwell, over a period spanning more than a decade.
Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell are notorious child traffickers who are connected to the top levels of society across multiple countries, including the United States and the UK. Two of their more notable friendships were to former US Presidents Donald Trump and Bill Clinton, as well as their decades-long relationship with the UK Royal Prince Andrew.
Evidence of the UK Epstein victims was uncovered by combing through a combination of publicly available documentation, eye-witness accounts, and interviews. The offences uncovered included detailed accounts of serious sexual assault and rape suffered by women and girls. Met Police are now under intense public scrutiny for their failure to investigate these cases.
In 2016 the Met Police chose not to carry out a full criminal investigation into the offences of Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell, despite many claims being in the public domain, a direct approach from at least one victim, public pressure, and widespread evidence that the Epstein network operated in the UK. Questions have been raised if their failure to investigate Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell was part of a coverup on behalf of the UK Royal Prince Andrew. In the UK police have covered up child abuse by powerful individuals, including members of Parliament, in the past as it seemingly practices a culture of impunity and loyalty to power. The Metropolitan Police also faces a conflict of interest due to its role in providing officers as Royal protection officers.
According to Juan Alessi, Epstein's former butler for eleven years, Prince Andrew had at least two Royal protection officers with him at all times when he was partying with Epstein and Maxell. Alessi said, "I can remember their names. The bodyguards were off duty and they slept in one of the guest bedrooms." Royal protection officers can earn up to 80,000 pounds (or $112,600) a year which is double their basic pay. UK Security sources suggest that Prince Andrew’s travels with Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell cost taxpayers well over 500,000 pounds (or $704,200) in public money.
Prince Andrew met Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell in the early 2000s through his ex-wife Sarah Ferguson. Publicly available flight records show Epstein and Maxwell were frequent visitors to the UK. Epstein's “ Lolita Express” was also documented to have flown in and out of UK airports at least 51 times, including into RAF Marham in Norfolk. The child traffickers were also frequent guests to Royal residences including Balmoral, Windsor, and Sandringham.
In 2015, Scotland Yard declined to comment when asked whether royalty protection officers had raised concerns about Prince Andrew's conduct with Epstein or about his visits to Jeffrey Epstein's mansion. The Met said: 'We do not discuss matters of security and protection.' Later in 2016 when pressured to investigate the Jeffrey Epstein network's activities further, The police response was: “Our current activity does not constitute an investigation," despite a complaint from a third party who passed on evidence of serious criminal activity. One of Epstein's UK victims and her legal team spoke directly with Met Police in 2016 and urged them to investigate. The media has previously asked questions about this encounter but the Met Police has not provided any answers and ignored the questions. The Met Police has never publicly acknowledged this direct approach. In 2019 after the alleged suicide of Jeffrey Epstein, Met officers reviewed the decision from 2016 to not investigate and concluded that the position should remain unchanged.
According to Legal experts hired by Channel Four, who reviewed the UK claims said, "the allegations provide clear grounds for an investigation and blamed the Met Police of failing in their legal duty to launch a full criminal inquiry." Nazir Afzal OBE, the former Chief Crown Prosecutor for North West England at the CPS, who has tackled grooming gangs in northern England, said: “From what I’ve seen, there is clearly enough evidence for the police to investigate more thoroughly than they have done up to now." None of the people identified by the investigation have been contacted by the Met Police. A spokesperson for the Met Police claimed t would “review” the information put to them by channel 4. However, they said they stand by their decision not to open a full investigation. They claimed that they take "allegations of sexual offences and exploitation seriously."