Benjamin Hannam: Convicted neo-Nazi Met Police officer sacked

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image copyrightMet Police
image captionThe 22-year-old had denied all the offences

A Met officer convicted of being part of a banned neo-Nazi terrorist group has been sacked by the force.

Benjamin Hannam was found guilty earlier this month of membership of the outlawed right-wing extremist organisation National Action (NA).

The 22-year-old was dismissed without notice from the force by Met Assistant Commissioner Helen Ball following a misconduct hearing on Wednesday.

He will appear at the Old Bailey on 30 April for sentencing on six offences.

The hearing at the Empress State Building in west London was told that Hannam was also convicted of lying on his application and vetting forms to be a Met Police officer.

He had also pleaded guilty to being in possession of multiple prohibited images including "pseudo images" of young boys and girls - mocked-up images which looked like photographs.

media captionDaniel Sandford: "Why did you join a terrorist organisation and then join the police?"

Previously, the Met said it had reviewed Hannam's time in the force and found no evidence his actions had been influenced by extremist ideology.

But his criminal trial and the misconduct case heard how Hannam lied on his application form and a subsequent vetting form in which he denied having links to an organisation "similar to the BNP".

Hannam, who was not present at the misconduct hearing, joined the Met in 2018 and during his training was shown videos relating to NA.

He passed out in early 2019, but was identified by detectives on the neo-Nazi web forum Iron March following a database leak of users and later prosecuted.

Despite his six convictions, Hannam maintained his innocence insisting he has never been a NA member, a representative said on his behalf.

image copyrightPA Media
image captionOfficers found a National Action business card and badges in Hannam's bedroom

Ms Ball, who chaired Hannam's misconduct hearing, was told that when he was arrested in March 2020, a search of his home found him to be in possession of extremist material.

It included the manifesto of Norwegian mass killer Anders Behring Breivik - who killed 77 people in 2011.

The hearing was told other items included notes of a NA meeting Hannam attended, as well as books and paraphernalia relating to fascism.

Before dismissing Hannam from the Met, Ms Ball said: "He could be in no doubt what he was doing was unacceptable behaviour at every stage. It is therefore proven that this is gross misconduct."

Ms Ball said Hannam was already subject to a final written warning and therefore could not be given a second one or have his first one extended.

She added: "His rank of PC cannot be reduced so the only option is dismissal.

"He had every opportunity to move away from this course of conduct. I do not find any mitigating factors as his behaviour has been so grave.

"PC Hannam has disgraced himself and the MPS. This is very serious misconduct which undermines policing as well as our reputation."

Hannam will be sentenced at the Old Bailey for being a member of a banned organisation, two counts of possession of a document likely to be of use to a terrorist, two of fraud by false representation and one of being in possession of a prohibited image of a child,

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