First officer guilty of being in neo-Nazi group is dismissed from police

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First officer guilty of being in neo-Nazi group is dismissed from police

Pc Ben Hannam was a member of banned terror group National Action, as officials say the case 'harmed public confidence in, and the reputation of' the police

Benjamin Hannam leaving Westminster Magistrates' Court, London
Benjamin Hannam leaving Westminster Magistrates' Court, London

A man who became the first British police officer convicted of belonging to a neo-Nazi terrorist organisation has been dismissed from the Metropolitan Police without notice.

Pc Ben Hannam was found guilty on April 1 of membership of banned right-wing extremist group National Action (NA) following a trial at the Old Bailey.

At a gross misconduct hearing on Wednesday, his behaviour was found to amount to a breach of the standards of professional behaviour, the Met said.

Met Assistant Commissioner Helen Ball, who chaired the hearing, said his actions had “without question harmed public confidence in, and the reputation of” the force.

She said: “In terms of culpability, Pc Hannam has knowingly and intentionally remained a member of a proscribed organisation, made false statements, retained possession of terrorism-related documents and a prohibited image of a child. He had at every stage the option not to embark on this course of conduct and to move away from it and did not do so.

“In addition, Pc Hannam has been convicted of six separate criminal offences. It is entirely unacceptable for police officers who are responsible for enforcing the law to break the law themselves. He was wholly responsible for his actions and his culpability is high.

“In behaving as he did, he has without question harmed public confidence in, and the reputation of the MPS, by belonging to an organisation that espouses the views of National Action, which are so wholly an antithesis of the Met’s values and the traditions of British policing.”

At the Old Bailey, Hannam was also convicted of lying on his application and vetting forms to join the Metropolitan Police and having terror documents detailing knife combat and making explosive devices.

A ban on reporting the case was lifted after Hannam admitted possessing an indecent image of a child, which was to have been the subject of a separate trial.

Hannam had been working as a probationary officer for the Met for nearly two years before he was found on a leaked database of users of extreme right-wing forum Iron March.

He had signed up to the forum when he joined the London branch of neo-Nazi group NA in March 2016.

He remains on bail ahead of his sentencing on Friday but was warned by the judge after the guilty verdict that he faced jail.

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