Guest blog by Assistant Chief Constable Gareth Cann QPM, West Midlands Police
When people head to the polls to cast their vote on 8 June, they should feel able to vote freely and confident that their vote is secure.
Voters should also feel safe to report any concerns if they feel that things are not right.
This is why police forces across the UK fully support the ‘don’t stand for electoral fraud’ campaign that Crimestoppers are running jointly with the Electoral Commission, enabling people to report this type of crime anonymously.
Police forces across the UK are responsible for investigating allegations of electoral fraud and take them very seriously. In each police force there is a dedicated Single Point of Contact Officer (or SPOC) for electoral fraud who provides specialist support and advice to investigators.
As seen in recent cases that have gone to trial, the courts also treat electoral fraud as a serious offence and have handed down significant sentences in order to act as a deterrent to others. But these cases couldn’t have been brought without information provided to police officers to help identify potential offenders.
The Electoral Commission’s partnership with Crimestoppers
NPCC strongly supports the Electoral Commission’s partnership with Crimestoppers to raise awareness of anonymous reporting as we understand that not everyone will be comfortable taking their concerns directly to the police. This could be because they don’t want to reveal their identity, perhaps because they have family or other community connections to those involved. That’s why this partnership is crucial – it means that anyone can report electoral fraud in confidence.
We hope that this will mean that more people who witness electoral fraud will be able to come forward and share this information. Crimestoppers will pass the information on to officers on the right police force without revealing the identity of the person making the complaint. As well as raising awareness of how to report electoral fraud, the campaign will also help to educate people about what electoral fraud looks like and how to recognise when it is happening.
Stand up to electoral fraud and feel confident to cast your vote
We want every voter to feel confident that they can cast their vote safely. You can help us to stand up to electoral fraud and ensure that the people who might try to commit this type of offence are held accountable. Don’t let your vote be stolen and don’t let our democracy be undermined.
If you know electoral fraud is happening then please report it to directly to the police, or anonymously to Crimestoppers through their website or by calling them on 0800 555 111.