POLICE chiefs have secretly cleared officers of wrongdoing over their refusal to launch a full probe into sex-trafficking claims involving Prince Andrew.
American Virginia Roberts says she was taken to London by Jeffrey Epstein and forced to sleep with the royal aged 17 — but the Met Police TWICE declined to properly investigate.
Now the decision not to fully examine the allegations has been praised as “well-documented and rationalised” in a review by the force’s professional standards unit.
Lisa Bloom, who represents victims of Epstein, said the Met is “too intimidated to investigate” the Royal Family.
She added: “It is the job of law enforcement to aggressively investigate credible claims.
“Do we care about the sex trafficking of a teenage girl? Or do we want to avoid responsibility?”
In July 2015 the Met received a criminal complaint from Virginia Roberts against convicted sex abuser Epstein — who was found dead in his New York jail cell last August — and his alleged British pimp Ghislaine Maxwell.
Virginia claimed she was flown to London by paedo Epstein in 2001 and coerced into sex with Prince Andrew at Maxwell’s London townhouse.
But Scotland Yard decided the matter did NOT warrant a full-blown probe by detectives. Last November, the Met said the force was not the “appropriate authority” for the case because “any investigation would be focused outside the UK.”
A Met spokesman said last night: “Our position has not changed.”
But now The Sun On Sunday can reveal that the Met’s Directorate of Professional Standards later examined if officers were right to shelve the case.
Redacted emails, including one shown above, obtained under a Freedom of Information request show the Independent Office of Police Conduct asked the DPS in November 2019 to “identify if there has been any failings”.
‘No indication’ of failing or criminal offence by Force
The Met wrote back last month to say there was “no indication” a person serving with the force may have committed a criminal offence or breached the code of conduct.
Virginia, now 36, claimed in a bombshell TV documentary last year her sex with Andrew in London was “quick and disgusting”.
The mum-of-three also alleges that she was forced to sleep with the Duke of York in New York and during an orgy in the Caribbean.
Prince Andrew, 60, has vehemently denied the claims and says he has “no recollection” of meeting Virginia — despite the existence of a photograph of them together.
Last week Virginia branded Andrew “guilty as sin” after he was alleged to have offered no help to US prosecutors probing the crimes of Epstein. The duke previously offered to help Epstein’s victims following his “car crash” interview on BBC2’s Newsnight.
Buckingham Palace declined to comment last night.
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US attorney Geoffrey Berman, who is leading a probe into Epstein’s accomplices, said: “My clients say that, regardless of what happened with Virginia Roberts, he knew Jeffrey Epstein and spent time with him — surely he had to have seen something?
“If Prince Andrew had sounded the alarm, probably hundreds of girls could have been saved lifelong trauma and sexual abuse.”