Serving probationary MPS officer charged with terrorism offences
A serving probationary officer from the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) has been charged with terrorism, indecent image and fraud offences following an investigation by the MPS Counter Terrorism Command.
Benjamin Hannam, 21, of North London has been charged with belonging to a proscribed organisation, namely the far-right terrorist group National Action.
He has also been charged with two counts of false representation by stating he had not been a member of “an organisation similar to the BNP” on both his original application to join the police and on a subsequent vetting form.
Hannam was also charged with possession of an indecent photograph of a child and possession of a prohibited photograph of a child.
He has been suspended from duty and released on bail to appear at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on August 6.
Detective Superintendent Ella Marriott, Acting North Area Basic Command Unit Commander said: “These are extremely serious charges for anyone to face, and I fully understand and appreciate how deeply concerning it might be for the public, and particularly local communities here in north London, that the charges are against a serving police officer.
“As I said at the time of the officer’s arrest in March this year, integrity is fundamental to policing and any officer suspected of displaying extremist behaviours or associations should rightly expect to be investigated. The Met, and indeed the public, does not accept this behaviour and we will not hesitate to take the necessary and robust action to deal with it. To police London effectively, we recognise the need to have the trust and confidence of all our communities.
“Enquiries have been led by officers from our Counter Terrorism Command, with the full support of the North Area Command BCU. The Met takes allegations of any criminal activity by officers extremely seriously. This significant investigation has been swift in reaching this position. However, following the charges today, I am aware how vital it is that the prosecution runs its course and the importance of not undermining or prejudicing the case and judicial process.
“Whilst we now await the outcome of this particular case through the courts, I hope that it shows to the public that we are serious in our commitment to fully investigate such allegations and, where necessary, put any officer suspected of criminality before the courts, as well as using our police misconduct procedures.”