News 1 April 2021

Met Police Officer Found Guilty Of Being Member Of Banned Neo-Nazi Terror Group

1 April 2021

A Metropolitan Police officer faces jail after serving as a recruiter for a banned right-wing terrorist group.

PC Benjamin Hannam was found guilty by an Old Bailey jury of being a member of National Action (NA).

The 22-year-old is the first serving police officer to be convicted of involvement in far-right terrorism.

He was also convicted of possessing documents useful for terrorism and for fraud for lying on on his application and vetting forms for joining the Met Police.

After Benjamin was arrested in March last year, detectives found an image of his phone in which he wore his police uniform with a Nazi badge on his lapel, alongside a Hitler-style moustache on his face.

Detectives also discovered Benjamin had downloaded a knife-fighting manual and a copy of the “manifesto” of the right-wing extremist Anders Breivik, who murdered 77 people – mostly children – in bomb and gun attacks in Norway in 2011.

Hannam’s membership of the NA came to light after a database of users of the extreme right-wing forum Iron March was leaked online. An investigation found he signed up to the forum after joining his local branch of the NA in March 2016.

National Action was proscribed by the government as a terrorist group on 16 December 2016.

Hannam, of Edmonton, joined the Met in 2018 and worked with the emergency response team in Haringey, north London.

When police searched his bedroom, they found neo-Nazi posters, notes detailing his membership of NA, as well as NA badges and business cards.

Hannam denied ever being a member of NA before or after it was banned, and told jurors he started to like fascism from the age of 16 because he liked the artwork.

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.”

Hamman is currently suspended from duty and will be sentenced at a later date.