Iain Dale 7pm - 10pm
Met Police officer charged with being member of banned far-right group National Action
9 July 2020, 20:12
A probationary Metropolitan Police officer has been charged with being a member of far-right group National Action.
Benjamin Hannam, 21, has been suspended from duty after being arrested in March.
He has also been charged with possession of images of child abuse.
The force alleges he failed to disclose his membership of the neo-Nazi organisation on two occasions during the application process.
He has been bailed to appear at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on 6 August.
National Action was formed in 2013, but deemed to be a terrorist organisation in 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.
"As I said at the time of the officer's arrest in March this year, integrity is fundamental to policing and any officer suspected of displaying extremist behaviours or associations should rightly expect to be investigated.
"The Met, and indeed the public, does not accept this behaviour and we will not hesitate to take the necessary and robust action to deal with it. To police London effectively, we recognise the need to have the trust and confidence of all our communities."
She added: "The Met takes allegations of any criminal activity by officers extremely seriously. 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.
"Whilst we now await the outcome of this particular case through the courts, I hope that it shows to the public that we are serious in our commitment to fully investigate such allegations and, where necessary, put any officer suspected of criminality before the courts, as well as using our police misconduct procedures."