Tower Hamlets will be only council with police at every polling station tomorrow

By Rachel Bishop on May 21, 2014 10:03 AM |


Police will be stationed at every poling station in Tower Hamlets on election day to combat voter intimidation.

The borough was among 16 areas across the country that the Electoral Commission has identified as being at "high risk" for vote-rigging and bullying.

It is the only authority that have chosen to place police at every polling station and also the only London borough to be on the "high-risk" list.

Returning Officer John Williams said following allegations of intimidation during previous elections, the council has introduced "the strongest measures to prevent fraud of any authority in London - and one of the most robust in the country."

He said: "In general it has been enthusiastic campaigners gathering outside polling stations and trying to convince electors as they are coming in to vote who they should be voting for and sometimes that can be intimidating for people."

On polling day police officers will be stationed at each of the 145 polling stations in the borough from 7am to 10pm

The council have also been carrying out stringent security checks on every postal vote received to ensure that the signature and date of birth match the signature and date of birth on the original application form in council records.

Additionally, it has visited houses with a high number of voters registered and has removed more than 5,000 names from the electoral register since February.

The borough will be among 161 local authorities in England and Wales holding elections on May 22.

The other "high-risk" areas are mainly in the Midlands and Lancashire.