A Channel 4 News investigation has found more than half a dozen claims that young women and girls are alleged to have been targeted, trafficked, groomed, or abused in the UK by Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell, over a period spanning more than a decade.
Some of those victims have provided detailed accounts of their experiences. The evidence comes from a combination of publicly available documentation (including court papers), witness accounts, and interviews. The alleged offences detailed in the accounts include serious sexual assault and rape.
The Channel 4 News investigation reveals that despite this, the Met Police chose not to carry out a full criminal investigation into these alleged offences despite many of these claims being in the public domain, a direct approach from at least one victim, and widespread evidence that Epstein had abused young women through a global criminal enterprise.
Serious questions have been raised about why the force failed to carry out a full criminal investigation, including whether Prince Andrew’s involvement with Maxwell and Epstein had any bearing on their decision not to fully investigate; and whether the Metropolitan Police faces a conflict of interest due the role of its officers serving in proximity as Royal protection officers. Prince Andrew denies any wrongdoing.
Legal experts who reviewed the claims for Channel 4 News said the allegations provide clear grounds for an investigation and accused the Met Police of failing in their legal duty to launch a full criminal inquiry.
Nazir Afzal OBE, the former Chief Crown Prosecutor for NW England at the CPS, who led landmark cases against 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.
“It’s concerning, because we’ve got potentially victims here. And maybe other victims or alleged victims, who may if an investigation follows its course, be identified.”
A spokesperson for the Met Police told this programme it would “review” the information put to them by Channel 4 News.
When asked if Ghislaine Maxwell and Jeffrey Epstein were treated differently by the MPS because of their connection with Prince Andrew, Afzal warned: “The perception here is a different approach was taken in relation to these alleged offences,