Home East London Local elections 2022: Police to patrol every polling station in East London...

Local elections 2022: Police to patrol every polling station in East London town

5

Met Police officers will be posted at every polling station in Tower Hamlets as the borough plans to fight electoral fraud. Police said the measures were being put in place “to maintain the integrity of our polling stations”. They added that some officers would have to be taken from other duties to work at the polls.

Tower Hamlets residents will vote on May 5 to elect their next mayor and council. The Met said it would be policing each of the 71 polling stations across the East London borough for as long as votes were being cast – between 7am and 10pm on polling day.

In an open letter to “residents, partners and stakeholders”, Chief Inspector Jai Singh and Inspector Ashley Rose said they would be doing all they can to help the vote run smoothly. The inspectors said having officers stationed at polling places was in line with the 2016 Pickles Report on electoral fraud.

READ MORE:Voters in Tory stronghold say they don’t care about ‘partygate’ ahead of London local elections

Do you want to stay up to date with the latest news, views, features and opinion from across the city?

MyLondon’s brilliant newsletter The 12 is absolutely jam packed with all the latest to keep you keep you entertained, informed and uplifted.

You’ll get 12 stories straight to your inbox at around 12pm. It’s the perfect lunchtime read.

And what’s more – it’s FREE!

The MyLondon team tells London stories for Londoners. Our journalists cover all the news you need – from City Hall to your local streets, so you’ll never miss a moment.

Don’t skip a beat and sign up to The 12 newsletter here.

Lord Pickles, the report’s author, gave 50 recommendations to combat electoral fraud. These included piloting ID checks at polling stations, tackling postal vote ‘harvesting’ and targeting the link between election fraud and immigration fraud.

The Met inspectors said: “Since the Pickles Report in 2016 the Government has been committed to increasing security of the UK’s elections and therefore Central East Command Unit is working closely with our Partners at Electoral Services, the Local Authority and Canary Wharf Security Team to maintain the integrity of our polling stations.

“To achieve this Central East Command Unit will have a police officer at each polling station for the duration of the election which will sadly mean that on election day all officers within Neighbourhood Policing (including Dedicated Ward Officers, Safer Schools Officers and Funded Officers) will be abstracted from their normal duties. Whilst I understand this may cause concern I believe policing the election is an integral part of Neighbourhood Policing ensuring our communities have trust and confidence in the electoral process and those elected to office.”

A spokesperson for Tower Hamlets Council said: “Electoral malpractice is taken extremely seriously in Tower Hamlets. As well as the standard checks and controls in place at elections, the Returning Officer for Tower Hamlets has taken extra steps to ensure the elections are free, fair and transparent.

“The Returning Officer works closely with the council, the Electoral Commission and the Metropolitan Police’s Special Enquiries Team to ensure that the planning and the running of the election is to the highest standard.

“Tower Hamlets has a dedicated webportal where residents can report concerns they have of suspected electoral malpractice. Visit www.towerhamlets.gov.uk/vote. All information reported is taken extremely seriously and, after an initial assessment, may be passed onto the police for a formal investigation to take place.”

The council added that there will be an exclusion zone next to polling stations where no campaigning will be allowed to take place, and that systems would be in place to ensure the privacy of ballots.

Read More
Read More

https://www.mylondon.news/news/east-london-news/local-elections-2022-police-patrol-23779396