Police to patrol outside Tower Hamlets polling stations

Police will be present at the polling stations in Tower Hamlets tomorrow in an effort to combat electoral fraud during the general election.

The measure has been put in place by watchdog the Electoral Commission after the area was hit by allegations of fraud during its mayoral election in 2014.

Voters in Bethnal Green and Bow and Poplar and Limehouse will see a police presence at polling stations, which has been implemented to stop people being intimidated by large groups of campaigners as they cast their vote. 

“We work closely with the police and the Electoral Commission to monitor elections and this has resulted in a significant reduction in allegations of fraud since 2014, and only a handful in the last three elections (GLA, EU referendum and Whitechapel by-election),” said Will Tuckley, acting returning officer for Tower Hamlets.

“Some of the measures brought in by the council such as ‘exclusion zones’ outside polling stations have now been recommended nationally as good practice.”

A hotline and dedicated email has also been set up so that any concerns about electoral fraud can be reported immediately. Any problems reported will then be investigated by an acting returning officer and responded to within 24 hours.

Canvassers have also visited all properties in Tower Hamlets with more than five electors registered to vote to ensure that the register is up-to-date and correct for all households in the area.

Today’s news also follows full council powers being returned to Tower Hamlets after government commissioners took control for a number of key responsibilities within the authority.

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