The detective who helped expose one of Britain’s worst paedophile scandals today demands a police investigation into Prince Andrew’s links with Ghislaine Maxwell.

Rochdale whistleblower Maggie Oliver says the Prince should be quizzed after the arrest of his friend Maxwell in America this week on child sex trafficking charges. Maxwell denies all charges.

The ex-detective constable’s demand came as legal experts claimed Scotland Yard had no grounds to suddenly drop a 2016 probe involving Jeffrey Epstein alleged sex slave Virginia Giuffre.

Giuffre claimed she was trafficked to the UK by financier Epstein and his ex-lover Maxwell, where they allegedly forced her to have sex with Prince Andrew at the age of 17 in 2001.

Prince Andrew and paedophile pal Jeffrey Epstein go for a stroll together through New York's Central Park

The Prince has always strenuously denied any wrongdoing.

And in an infamous interview with Newsnight’s Emily Maitlis he claimed he had no recollection of Ms Giuffre, now 36 – even though he has been photographed with her.

But Maggie – who quit Greater Manchester Police to expose the force’s poor handling of the Rochdale child sex abuse probe – said: “I absolutely think he should be questioned.

“I don’t believe for a single moment this was investigated fully and that the police could do nothing about it.

Ghislaine Maxwell has been arrested by the FBI

“Everyone is innocent until proven guilty, but the fact he [Prince Andrew] hasn’t been interviewed under caution suggests to me special treatment.

“I’ve listened to Virginia’s interviews and I don’t believe she wasn’t credible and didn’t have evidence to back up what she is saying. The establishment protects the establishment. At the very least, it’s coincidental.

“At the worst, it’s corruption at the highest level. When the authorities chose not to even investigate
these crimes, the message that goes out to victims is they don’t matter.

“In many respects, this is worse than the abuse itself.”

The Metropolitan Police dropped their probe into Ms Giuffre’s claims on the grounds most of her complaint related to allegations of abuse in other countries.

But legal experts say there was then a UK law in place that made it a criminal offence for a person to procure a girl under 21 for unlawful sexual intercourse in any part of the world.

And although the Sexual Offences Act of 1956 has now largely been replaced with more modern laws on trafficking and sex abuse, it would still apply to cases dating back to when it was in force.

The Met dropped the case only three years before Epstein, 66, took his own life in a New York prison cell while awaiting sex trafficking charges, meaning many victims were denied justice.

Top human rights lawyer Harriet Wistrich, director of the Centre for Women’s Justice, said: “The public interest stakes are very high in looking into this. It’s a very serious allegation and there is no reason why the police shouldn’t investigate it.

“If a crime is committed in your jurisdiction and the complainer wants you to investigate it, the fact that other allegations related to other jurisdictions is not a reason not to do so.” Her views were echoed by Olivia Coffey, specialist child abuse solicitor with national law firm Bolt Burdon Kemp.

Maggie Oliver believes the claims of Epstein victim Virginia Roberts, photographed here with Prince Andrew and Ghislaine Maxwell

She said: “The Metropolitan Police appear to be simply leaving the criminal investigations up to the authorities in the US – rather than investigating what allegedly happened here and ultimately holding anyone who committed criminal offences to account.

"Trafficking is an international issue that spans jurisdictions and you would therefore expect investigations to take place in the UK as well as the US and anywhere else where crimes were allegedly carried out.

“Following Epstein’s death it will be more important than ever that Maxwell’s role is thoroughly investigated – here and in the US.

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“You’d hope Prince Andrew would fully cooperate and provide the police with as much information as he can.” It is understood the complaint to the Metropolitan Police in 2016 did not include any criminal allegations against Prince Andrew.

A source close to the Prince last night maintained he had agreed to cooperate fully with US authorities.

The insider said: “The Duke of York’s team are completely bewildered as to why the US authorities maintain they still need to speak to him.

“There have been several offers to cooperate with them throughout the year, to which there has been no response. The view is this is complete theatre on their part. Andrew has said he is innocent of any wrongdoing and nothing has changed.”

Metropolitan Police Commander Alex Murray said the force had no plans to investigate the claims from 2016 in light of this week’s developments. He said: “Our position remains unchanged.”

Both the CPS and a spokesperson for the Duke declined to comment.