Politics

Former Met officer found guilty of being in right wing terrorist group

A former probationary constable in the Metropolitan police has been found guilty of gross misconduct and dismissed without notice .

Former PC Benjamin Hannam breached the standards of professional behaviour in respect of Discreditable Conduct, a gross misconduct hearing held in public today (April 21) heard.

Although still a serving officer PC Hannam, who was attached to the North Area Basic Command Unit, tendered his resignation from the Met Police in March 2021 after standing trial for offences related to an investigation led by the Met’s Counter Terrorism Command.

PC Hannam was identified as having previously been a member of a proscribed right wing terrorist organisation when he was linked to an online profile by Counter Terrorism (CT) officers.

PC Hannam stood trial at the Old Bailey

Having been arrested and charged in March 2020, and following a trial at the Old Bailey, he was found guilty of membership of a proscribed organisation (National Action), two counts of fraud by false representation and two counts of possession of a document likely to be of use to a terrorist.

In addition, but unrelated to the charges above, former PC Hannam also pleaded guilty to possession of a prohibited image of children, which officers had found on one of his digital devices in the course of their investigation into his membership of National Action.

The chair of the hearing, Met Assistant Commissioner Helen Ball considered all of the evidence presented by the appropriate authority and the allegation of Discreditable Conduct was found proven as gross misconduct.

AC Ball said at the hearing: “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.”

On July 19, 2017, Benjamin Hannam applied to join the Met, and then later in October, he submitted the associated vetting form as part of that process.

On his application and vetting forms Hannam lied that he had no associations with or membership of extreme right wing groups. Had he been honest, this would have automatically precluded him from joining the MPS.

All known involvement by PC Hannam with National Action had ended by 30 September 2017, prior to the start of his police training on 26 March 2018.

He was found guilty of the aforementioned charges on Friday, April 1.



Most Related Links :
todayuknews Governmental News Finance News

Source link

Back to top button