Elections: Tower Hamlets:Written question - 28597

Q
(Poplar and Limehouse)
[N]
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Asked on: 25 February 2016
Speaker's Committee on the Electoral Commission
Elections: Tower Hamlets
Commons
To ask the hon. Member for South West Devon, representing the Speaker's Committee on the Electoral Commission, what recent assessment the Commission has made of the level of electoral fraud in Tower Hamlets.
A
Answered by: Mr Gary Streeter
Answered on: 07 March 2016

The Electoral Commission works with the National Police Chiefs’ Council to collate data from police forces about cases of alleged electoral fraud reported each year. This data is published on the Commission’s website.

The data show that 49 cases of alleged electoral fraud offences were reported in Tower Hamlets in 2014. Of these cases, no further action was taken following investigation by the police in 39 cases. This was either because the activity involved was not in fact an offence; there was no evidence that an offence had been committed; or there was insufficient evidence to identify a perpetrator. It also included cases which, following investigation, were found not to have involved electoral fraud offences.

Five cases were locally resolved with advice from the police or the Returning Officer, and one case resulted in a caution being given. Of the remaining four cases, one resulted in court proceedings being initiated, one awaits prosecution advice and two remain under investigation.

A total of 28 cases of alleged electoral fraud offences were reported in Tower Hamlets in 2015. No further action was taken following investigation by the police in 23 cases, and one case was locally resolved. One case awaits prosecution advice and three remain under investigation. The Commission will monitor the outcome of any investigations relating to electoral fraud offences.

In advance of the May 2016 elections, the Commission is working closely with the police and electoral administrators in each of the 18 areas it has identified as being at higher risk of allegations of electoral fraud, including Tower Hamlets, to ensure that robust plans are in place to detect and prevent fraud.

The Commission also encourages anyone who has evidence that an electoral offence may have been committed to report this to the police, either directly or anonymously through Crimestoppers.

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