Police officer from Edmonton jailed over link to terror group

Former police officer Benjamin Hannam
Former police officer Benjamin Hannam (credit Met Police)

A 22-year-old police officer from Edmonton Green has been jailed for four years after being convicted of belonging to a banned terrorist group.

Benjamin Hannam, of Galahad Road, was identified as having previously been a member of far-right organisation National Action after he was linked to an online profile by counter-terrorism officers at the Metropolitan Police.

Hannam was sentenced last Friday at the Old Bailey to a total of four years and four months’ imprisonment, plus one year on extended licence. It followed a trial earlier this year at which he was found guilty of belonging to a banned terror group, plus two counts of fraud by false representation and two counts of possession of a document “likely to be of use to a terrorist”.

The court heard that Hannam had attended a National Action meeting in a Paddington pub in March 2016 and that he’d continued to attend various activities and events organised by the group until the summer of 2017, several months after it was banned. He applied to join the Met in July 2017, lying on his application and vetting forms about his association with National Action.

Hannam’s fraud charges relate to his salary as a serving police officer starting in 2018, a job the Met Police say he would not have got had he told the truth. The document Hannam was convicted of possessing was a combat guide produced by Norwegian terrorist Anders Brevik, who murdered 77 people nearly ten years ago.

Commander Richard Smith, who led the investigation, said: “Hannam lied about his past links to this group when applying to become a police officer. His past caught up with him when he was identified as part of a wider, proactive investigation by the counter terrorism command, who moved quickly to arrest him and bring him to justice.

“This case illustrates the real and immediate risk posed by hate-filled ideologies and those who promote them online and elsewhere.
“We need friends and family to look out for those who might be vulnerable to radicalisation and at risk of being seduced online by toxic ideology.”

In addition, during the course of the investigation, prohibited images of children were found on Hannam’s computer. He admitted to possessing them.