Police officer charged with being a member of banned homophobic, racist, neo-Nazi terrorist organisation
A Metropolitan Police officer has been charged with being a member of the banned homophobic neo-Nazi terrorist organisation National Action.
Amid global protests against systemic racism and police brutality and scrutiny over the Met’s record on racism, it has been revealed that an alleged member of a homophobic, Neo-nazi terrorist group made it through vetting processes to become a police officer.
Benjamin Hannam, 21, from north London, has been suspended from duty as a probationary officer with the Metropolitan Police following an investigation by the counter-terrorism command. He worked in frontline policing with the north area basic command unit (BCU).
According to The Guardian, police have charged Hannam with five offences, including belonging to, or professing to belong to, proscribed homophobic neo-Nazi group National Action, fraud offences and possessing an indecent image of a child.
National Action was founded in 2013, and in 2016 the group was banned under the Terrorism Act 2000, making it the first far-right group to be proscribed under the act since the Second World War.
According to the Home Office: “The group is virulently racist, anti-Semitic and homophobic. Its ideology promotes the idea that Britain will inevitably see a violent ‘race war’, which the group claims it will be an active part of.”
Through material disseminated on social media, National Action has celebrated the Pulse massacre and the murder of MP Jo Cox. The group has also called for the reintroduction Section 28, banning the “promotion of homosexuality” in schools.
Alleged National Action member lied on police application.
The Metropolitan Police said Hannam lied in his application to join the force, meaning they were unaware that he was a “member of an organisation similar to the BNP, namely National Action”.
He has been released on bail and will appear at Westminster magistrates’ court on August 6. Those found to be members of proscribed organisations can face up to 10 years in prison.
North area basic command unit (BCU) detective superintendent Ella Marriott 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.
“The Met, and indeed the public, does not accept this behaviour … we recognise the need to have the trust and confidence of all our communities.”