8 March 2008

BNP London Election Campaign hit by conviction of Police Infiltrator on weapons charges

At the turn of the year officers from the Post Office Security Team based at London's main Mount Pleasant sorting office intercepted a package from the USA which contained a Tazer gun, also known as a stun gun, now in widespread use by the Metropolitan Police Service. The addressee was a 23 year old man, Ellis Hammond. The P.O. security team passed on the address and details of the contents of the package to the police in South East London. It took them only minutes to realise that Hammond was a serving officer in the Police Community Safety unit based in their command area.

Very quickly they were at his family home, detaining him and conducting what was said to be a very thorough search.

They found the following :

1 CS Tear Gas Cannister

1 Police style ASP retractable baton

1 pair of Metropolitan Police issue Handcuffs

I Knuckle Duster

8 combat knives

DVDs with Hate material on them

Various items of British National Party literature

Some Obscene material

25-30 mainly imported T-shirts from the USA bearing nazi and white power group symbols and hardline racist and nazi slogans

4 BB Guns

1 Replica AK 47 Assault Rifle

1 Copy of the Turner Diaries, the US publication that has served as a blueprint for nazi terrorism in the USA.

The Turner Diaries was written by the late William L. Pearce, a close friend of the BNP who has played host to them at his National Alliance HQ in the USA, and was guest of honour at a BNP annual meeting in East London some years ago.

And finally to top it all off, the police searchers discovered a British National Party membership card.

By sheer coincidence Hammond had left his mobile phone on a table in the canteen at the police station he was attached to. A police officer turned it on hoping to find the identity of the owner, but instead found a message from the BNP to Hammond. The officer acted with haste and sensibly reported it to his senior officers who, were already aware of the intercepted Tazer gun.

So what do we and the police know about Hammond?

In recent years he applied to join the Metropolitan Police Service. All applicants are required to fill in a lengthy application form which includes the following questions:

Have you ever been a member of the British National Party?

Are you currently a member of the British National Party?

Are you likely to join at any future date?

Hammond answered in the negative to all three questions. A "yes" to any of them would have debarred him from becoming a Police or a Prison Officer. He failed the interview regardless and later decided to take the other favoured route into the Police Service by becoming a Police Community Safety Officer, spending a year as a PCSO, then re-applying for enrolment in the Met.

Hammond was accepted into the role of PCSO, lying on his application form that he had nothing to do with the BNP.

It would appear that he was not active in any of the three local BNP branches in Greenwich, Bexley or Croydon, although members of Croydon branch had hinted for several years that they had connections with people serving in the Emergency Services and possibly the Police.

We think that Hammond had been talent-spotted by one or more senior BNP officials who were either ex-Police or ex-Military, groomed to join up and play the long game, acting in spy parlance as a sleeper or deep mole.

His Borough Commander had his staff search through Hammond's work record as a PCSO, which included patrolling a beat that took Hammond past the spot where Stephen Lawrence had been brutally killed by a white racist gang. They saw he had made a high number of Stops and Searches, but only two were on Black persons (one being a truanting school child) and nobody had ever complained about the way he had treated them. He was seen by those who managed him to be an exemplary young officer, whose good record would ease the way for him to become a full Policeman.

To this point, the Met's actions in arresting and dealing with Hammond were correct.

They had even sent one of the replica weapons away for tests to see if it could be converted into a useable firearm. As he was not charged over that gun we hope that it was deemed to be safe.

We then felt some discomfort when informed that Hammond was being allowed to resign before his case came to court, rather than being sacked first.

We also discovered that in the summer of last year he had bought a lethal crossbow from the USA, the weapon of choice for many nazis across the world. A silent killing weapon. This had not been found during the initial search of his home. We are now very eager to know if this was because it was missed or because, as we believed, he might have another cache of illegal weapons and material elsewhere. We were assured that as a result of our information about the crossbow, surveillance on Hammond's movements in the period he was free on police bail (but not yet charged) would be stepped up.

We also heard that there were some differences between the Crown Prosecution Service and the officers dealing with the case over what form the charges against Hammond should take.

Last week he appeared at his local Magistrates Court and pleaded guilty to two charges relating to the Tazer gun and the CS tear-gas spray. Both carry punitive sentences. It's normal for magistrates to send such cases to the Crown Court for sentencing, particularly where somebody has lied to join the Police Service and is found to be a member of an organisation that Police and Prison Service officers are barred from joining.

We were astonished to hear that the case had been dealt with there and then, and Hammond conditionally discharged for twelve months.

The day after his conviction his picture and details were still to be found on a Police Web site, showing Hammond as a community beat officer.

By allowing Hammond to resign from the police and advising him and his family that he should take that course, the Crown Prosecution Service was not obliged to reveal his background or his membership of the BNP to the magistrates. So it was unlikely the press would pick up the story and there would be no publicity. This is not the first time that serving Police Officers with far right connections have been let down gently.

Responding to inquiries concerning BNP members having illicit connections with the police service, a spokesperson said: "Yes we have serving Police Officers up to the rank of Inspector and above".

Hammond's father was very grateful about the course taken by the officers dealing with his son's case.

When spoken to by a journalist, Ellis Hammond said that he did not want any media publicity as it might affect his future work prospects. When the journalist tried to take the conversation further, Hammond responded: "I am going to stop now as I am getting very angry."

So what we have here is a nazi liar who has armed himself to the teeth and infiltrated one of the pillars of the Criminal Justice System, who says he cannot control his temper.

Both the Police and the CPS have gone down a strange path with this case, and have allowed a potential terrorist to be turned loose on our streets. We wonder what the Director of Public Prosecutions's thoughts on this case are. Was it dealt with by the local CPS office or the Special Case Unit which deals with all types of terrorist cases, and what does Met Commissioner Sir Ian Blair think about letting people like Hammond off the hook?

So much for confronting terrorism from wherever it arises.

When the Criminal Justice System screws up it's the public who pay the price.

Searchlight/Stop The BNP

See also The Sunday Times for more on this story.

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