The full force of the law will be felt by anyone committing election fraud in Peterborough, according to the city’s police chief.
Superintendent Andy Gipp has promised to stamp out sign of illegal interference during the general election, and he is calling on candidates and their agents to watch out for any suspicious activities.
Peterborough was stung in 2008 when the city’s ex-Tory mayor Raja Akhtar, and ex-Labour mayor Mohammed Choudhary, were jailed for interfering with postal votes in Central Ward during the 2004 city council elections.
Former Labour official Tariq Mahmood, former Labour party candidate Maqbool Hussein, former Conservative councillor Abdul Razaq and former Conservative election candidate Mohammed Khaliq, were also jailed for the same offence..
Supt Gipp, area commander for Peterborough, told the Peterborough Telegraph he would give his full support to “upholding public safety, integrity and fairness in the voting process.”
He added: “My stance will be firm but fair regarding unethical or criminal behaviour. If there’s a whiff of any offence, or any cases, I will use all powers legally available to deal with it.
“There will be no tolerance whatsoever for any malpractice.”
Asked if there was any evidence that fraud will be carried out in Peterborough during the election, which is to be held on June 8, Supt Gipp replied: “Absolutely not.”
But he added: “I expect candidates and their election agents to be proactive in their stance regarding previous issues and report any suspicious behaviour. We will react very positively.”