Serving probationary Metropolitan Police officer charged with terrorism offence

A serving probationary Metropolitan Police officer has been charged with being a member of far-right terrorist group National Action.

Benjamin Hannam, 21, of north London, has been charged with five offences following an investigation by the Met’s Counter Terrorism Command and has been suspended from duty, Scotland Yard said.

He has been bailed to appear at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on August 6.

It is alleged that between December 17 2016 and January 1 2018 he belonged or professed to belong to a proscribed organisation, namely National Action, contrary to section 11 of the Terrorism Act 2000.

It is alleged that on or before July 19 2017 he dishonestly made a false representation, in that he falsely represented in his application to join the Met that he had not been a member of an organisation similar to the BNP, namely National Action, intending to make gain for himself, contrary to section 1 and 2 of the Fraud Act 2006.

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

He is also charged with falsely representing in his vetting form to join the Met on or before October 24 2017 that he had not been a member of National Action.

It is alleged that on July 22 2018 he was in possession of an indecent photograph of a child.

He is also charged with being in possession of a prohibited image of a child on November 27 2016.

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.”

She said integrity is “fundamental” to policing and said any officer suspected of displaying extremist behaviours or associations should rightly expect to be investigated.

Det Supt Marriott added: “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.”

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