Peter Golds: Where are the police when electoral fraud requires detailed investigation?
COMMENTBy Peter Golds
For over a decade now there have been concerns about election fraud.
Tower Hamlets is one of 16 local authority areas where the police and electoral officials have been tasked to pay attention. One may say "about time".
From 2004 in Birmingham, Slough and even leafy Woking election courts have heard overwhelming evidence of voter fraud and council seats have been declared vacant due to corrupt practices.
Amazingly all of these cases have been the result of election petitions.
The absentee has been the police who are expected to preserve the integrity of the electoral process.
In Birmingham, where six councillors were barred after a single election, the police - having been told of a factory where hundreds of postal votes were being forged - turned up, collected the forged votes and delivered them to the Returning Officer.
They did not arrest the vote forgers.
For some years now I have been working closely with colleagues in different parts of the country and we all have similar experiences with regard to elections.
For 2014 the Metropolitan Police and the Electoral Commission, after years of inertia, have introduced a Tower Hamlets Election Protocol for candidates, agents and officials.
The basis is existing law regarding corrupt and illegal practices, which should be enforced anyhow.
It is now up to the guardians of the electoral process to enforce these laws.
■ Peter Golds is Conservative councillor for Blackwall and Cubitt Town.