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Friday, May 20, 2022

Met Police Officer acted as a recruiter for banned neo-nazi terror group

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A Met Police Officer aged 22 has become the first police officer to be convicted of his involvement in a banned far-right terror group.

The officer is now facing prison after he acted as a recruiter for the group.

Police Constable Benjamin Hannam who lives in Edmonton in north London has now been convicted of his involvement.

The 22-year-old was found guilty by an Old Bailey jury of being a member of the National Action which is a proscribed terrorist group.

He was further found guilty of being in possession of documnts useful within terrorism and fraud.

Hannam was arrested in March 2020 when detectives found an image on his iPhone showing him in police uniform with a Hilter-style mustache on his face and a Nazi badge on his lapel.

He was found to have downloaded a knife-fighting manual and a copy of the “manifesto” of the right-wing extremist Anders Breivik who murdered 77 people in a bomb and gun attack in Norway in 2011.

Hannam at the time of his arrest worked within the emergency response team within Haringey having joined the police in March 2018.

When police searched his bedroom after his arrest they found a number of Nazi propaganda posters on his bedroom wall.

His school had raised concerns internally over his extremist views after comments about immigration during a debate on Brexit and an A-level project on extremist ideology has to be rejected as they were unable to submit the content.

The Metropolitan Police confirmed that no school reference was sought during Benjamin Hannam’s application and vetting process.

The Met Police claim he has defrauded them by confirming within his application that he was not part of any BNP or group.

In answering no, he was said to have defrauded the police out of the £66,000 they spent employing him between 26 March 2018, when he started as a trainee, and his arrest in March 2020.

Commander Richard Smith, head of Scotland Yard’s Counter-Terrorism Command, said: “Obviously there will be some concern that somebody who was a member of a group like National Action was able to become a member of Metropolitan Police Service but once we had identified that fact we acted very swiftly.

“Clearly having a mindset of that type is completely incompatible with being a police officer.

“We are highly concerned that we have a serving police officer who has previously been a member of a proscribed organisation such as National Action and we have followed every line of inquiry as you would expect us to do so.”

The Met Police has carried out a detailed review of his police work looking at his stop and search records, crime reports, and case files and no evidence was found that he had targeted individuals as a result of his right-wing views.

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Trevor Sherwood
Trevor Sherwood
Trevor Sherwood is the editor and news reporter covering national and international news crime and policing news. Tweet your news and views to @TrevSherwoodPH

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