Benjamin Hannam, a 22-year-old officer with the Metropolitan Polie, has been accused of belonging to a neo-Nazi group. Hannam has denied any association with the group and has also been charged with fraud for not disclosing allegiances to authorities at Scotland Yard.
Hannam was arrested and appeared at London’s Old Bailey on Monday, where he denied being a member of the neo-Nazi group “National Action” between December 2016, and September 2017. The group was formally banned during this time period.
PC Benjamin Hannam of the Metropolitan Police Service, accused of membership of racist far-right terrorist group National Action, will face trial on 1 March 2021 for a terror offence, fraud, and possession of an indecent image of children https://t.co/v3DNy8xfZe
— Andrew Frederick (@AFrederickLaw) August 15, 2020
He also pleaded not guilty to two counts of fraud by false representation, which resulted from him allegedly lying on his application to join the Metropolitan Police in July of 2017, then again on a vetting form that he submitted in October of 2017.
On Both documents, Hannam was asked whether he had “been a member of an organisation similar to the British National Party,” and replied “no.”
The officer also faces charges of possession of an indecent photograph of a child and possession of a prohibited image of a child, according to the Independent.
British police officer Benjamin Hannam of north London has been charged with being a member of neo-Nazi militant group National Action. He was also found in possession of child abuse images. See this thread. https://t.co/MF6tiGjO9Z pic.twitter.com/S6Lv16mZdF
— Jake Hanrahan (@Jake_Hanrahan) July 9, 2020
Hannam is currently suspended from duty because he was still on his probationary period when he was arrested for these charges, according to The Metropolitan Police.
Mr. Hannam, of Enfield in north London, will be due back in court for the start of his trial on the 1st of March, 2021. Hannam has been released on bail, but in the meantime, he will be banned from travelling abroad and his internet usage will be heavily restricted.
His initial arrest was made earlier this year, but he had not publicly responded to the allegations until his appearance in court last week.
In 2016, National Action, a neo-Nazi group, became the first far-right organisation to be banned by the British government since the Second World War.
The government has since spawned spinoff groups such as Scottish Dawn, NS131, Sonnenkrieg Division (SKD), and System Resistance Network (SRN), among others.