Working together to prevent and detect electoral fraud
Published: 8 Feb 2019
The annual electoral integrity seminar takes place today, organised by the Electoral Commission in partnership with the National Police Chiefs’ Council.
The event, taking place in Birmingham, is attended by police forces from across the country and will look at how to prevent and detect electoral fraud.
Bob Posner, Chief Executive of the Electoral Commission, said:
"We are very proud of our long partnership with the National Police Chiefs’ Council. We believe it has led to an increased awareness of the risks arising from election malpractice, as well as increased public confidence in the fact that electoral events are well-policed. This event is an important part of creating that confidence.
“With important local elections taking place across England on 2 May, we will be looking at what we have learnt from previous criminal cases to ensure that police forces are well prepared to deal with any potential investigations. We work hard to prevent electoral crime but when it does occur, together we will take effective action.”
Every police force has a designated single point of contact (known as a SPOC) to lead on election-related crime. It is their role to give specialist advice to local police officers. The Electoral Commission works closely throughout the year with SPOCs to ensure that the public we serve can be confident that elections in their areas are free and fair.
Assistant Chief Constable Gareth Cann QPM, West Midlands Police, and NPCC Portfolio Lead for Election-Related Crime, said:
“The NPCC greatly values the strong partnership we have built with the Electoral Commission. The police take electoral crime very seriously and the network of SPOCs that we have established in every police force lead our efforts.
“Today’s seminar provides an opportunity for us to bring them up to date on current issues and, importantly, to hear their perspective on how we can continue to ensure that our elections are free and fair."
Also featuring on the seminar agenda are the experiences of new SPOCs, how to deal with allegations of electoral fraud and information about guidance that’s currently being produced by the National Police Chiefs’ Council and the College of Policing on offences that constitute intimidation of candidates before and during elections.
Anyone with concerns about electoral fraud being committed in their area can report the issue anonymously by calling Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
Notes to editors
- The Electoral Commission is the independent body which oversees elections and regulates political finance in the UK. We work to promote public confidence in the democratic process and ensure its integrity by:
- enabling the delivery of free and fair elections and referendums, focusing on the needs of electors and addressing the changing environment to ensure every vote remains secure and accessible
- regulating political finance – taking proactive steps to increase transparency, ensure compliance and pursue breaches
- using our expertise to make and advocate for changes to our democracy, aiming to improve fairness, transparency and efficiency
The Commission was set up in 2000 and reports to the UK and Scottish Parliaments.