Maxwell’s conviction, for procuring young girls to be sexually abused by the late American financier Epstein, was described as a significant development by former detectives and a senior lawyer involved in prosecuting child sex offenders.
They said it meant the force could no longer sustain a claim there were insufficient grounds to fully investigate the activities of Maxwell, 60, and Epstein while in the UK, including ongoing allegations that Virginia Giuffre, now 38, was trafficked to the UK to have sex with Prince Andrew in 2001 when she was 17.
The Met has said it continues “to liaise with other law enforcement agencies who lead the investigation into matters related to Jeffrey Epstein”. This would likely include the FBI, which arrested Maxwell, now 60, in 2020.
Nazir Afzal was the Chief Crown Prosecutor for the north west of England and overturned a CPS decision not to charge several of the Rochdale child grooming suspects in 2012.
He said that the Met should now review all alleged offences “without fear or favour” and, if necessary, question Prince Andrew about what he knows.
Also calling for a full probe is Maggie Oliver, who was a detective constable with Greater Manchester Police and resigned after blowing the whistle on her own force’s poor handling of investigations into child sex grooming gangs in Rochdale.
She said she feared a “reluctance by the authorities to dig deep for fear of upsetting the apple cart”.
And Steve Morris, a former Met Police detective sergeant, who has investigated child sex grooming, said: “Prince Andrew should at least be interviewed under caution.”
Ms Giuffre has filed a civil lawsuit in the US against Andrew for unspecified damages alleging that he sexually assaulted her at Maxwell’s Knightsbridge home in March 2001 and at Epstein’s US properties on other occasions.
The Prince has always strenuously denied the allegations .
Mr Afzal said: “The Met said in 2015, then in 2019 and again in 2021 that it had reviewed the allegations and came to the conclusion that there were’s noffences.
“But it left the door open to investigate further if more information came forward.
“I cannot see anything more significant than Ghislaine Maxwell’s conviction for her part in this paedophile ring – so it must now investigate this properly to restore public confidence.
“The Met has previously said there is not enough evidence but that is because it has not been investigated.
“It must now properly investigate and see where it takes them and if that involves interviewing His Royal Highness then it must do that, as what it is meant to do is investigate without fear or favour.”
He reiterated: “I do not believe in conspiracy theories but the Met keeps saying there is not enough evidence but that is because it has not investigated.
“It cannot sustain this any more.” Ms Oliver now runs the Maggie Oliver Foundation, which supports sex abuse victims.
She said: “My fear is with these decisions based on people in high places that there is a reluctance by the authorities to dig deep for fear of upsetting the apple cart.
“Ghislaine Maxwell was procuring girls, not just for Epstein, but his associates as well and those abusers will continue unless they are stopped. So if offences happened over here they must be investigated, to give the victims a voice to speak about the men that abused them.
“So that is where the investigation should go from here.”
On Friday, a judge in NewYork denied a motion from Andrew’s lawyers to halt proceedings in Ms Giuffre’s civil lawsuit while an issue of where she lives is dealt with.
They had called for the case to be stopped because she is “actually domiciled in Australia” but that was rejected by judge Lewis Kaplan.
On Tuesday he will hear their arguments on whether to dismiss Ms Giuffre’s claim.