LONDON — An officer in London’s predominant police pressure was convicted on Thursday of being a member of a banned neo-Nazi group, his pressure mentioned, turning into the primary British police officer to be convicted of a terrorism offense, in line with the BBC and different British information sources.
Benjamin Hannam, 22, a probationary police officer who utilized to the London pressure, the Metropolitan Police, in 2017 and joined it in early 2018, was discovered responsible of membership of a banned group — the neo-Nazi group Nationwide Motion — in addition to two counts of fraud by false illustration and two counts of possession of doc more likely to be of use to a terrorist, the police mentioned in a briefing.
The fraud expenses associated to mendacity on utility kinds for his police place, native media at a courtroom in London reported.
Mr. Hannam demonstrated an “adherence to fascist ideology and a probably veiled however nonetheless evident neo-Nazi mind-set,” the prosecutor, Dan Pawson-Kilos, mentioned in line with The Independent, including that he had met with folks at Nationwide Motion occasions even after the group had been banned. The group, which praised the murder of a British lawmaker, Jo Cox, was outlawed in December 2016.
The trial started in March, however the courtroom had banned reporting of its particulars to keep away from a danger of biasing future jurors in a separate case in opposition to Mr. Hannam, in line with native media. The restrictions have been lifted after Mr. Hannam pleaded responsible to possessing an indecent picture of a kid, which was to have been the topic of the second trial.
Mr. Hannam, who in courtroom denied being a member of the group, joined the London department of Nationwide Motion in 2016, in line with the police briefing. He mentioned in the course of the trial that he was interested in the “look and aesthetic of fascism,” however that he was not a racist, according to the BBC.
He appeared in a propaganda video for the group the identical month he utilized to affix the police pressure, although police mentioned his “recognized involvement” had ended by September 2017, a number of months earlier than he started police coaching. The pressure mentioned that he had hidden this historical past, and “had he been sincere, this may have robotically precluded him from becoming a member of the Metropolitan Police Service.”
The Metropolitan Police have confronted accusations of racism and discriminatory practices, and the pressure mentioned in November that it would recruit more minority officers with a view to be extra consultant.