Why residents can vote with confidence in 2016 elections

Peterborough City Council and Cambridgeshire Constabulary are working closely to reduce the risk of election fraud and to ensure voters have confidence in the electoral system in the run-up to the local and police and crime commissioner elections on 5 May 2016.

Peterborough's previous work to deter electoral fraud has been recognised by the Electoral Commission and other national bodies. The city council and police are continuing this work with their electoral campaign this year.

Cambridgeshire Constabulary has once again set up a dedicated team to work jointly with Peterborough City Council to investigate allegations of electoral malpractice. Police will investigate any reports of corrupt activity. Allegations will be treated seriously and prosecutions will be brought if evidence of wrong doing is uncovered. There will also be an increased police presence in the city on polling day.

Returning Officer Gillian Beasley said: “People are entitled to use their vote in elections freely without fear or intimidation. We are working closely with the police to ensure this can happen and to tackle electoral fraud in Peterborough.

"If you are concerned that you are being asked to do something which could be illegal, or you're being forced to vote in a certain way, please call our election fraud hotline on 01733 452277."

Inspector Iain Clark, who will be leading the operation for Cambridgeshire Police, said: "We are working closely with the city council to ensure the elections in Peterborough run smoothly and in an honest and transparent manner.

"People can rest assured that any corrupt practices will be treated very seriously and action will be taken if any offences come to light. The electorate must have complete confidence in the integrity of the system and our operation will seek to ensure that's the case."

Registration forms were sent to voters in July 2015 to ensure the latest, most accurate, information was recorded on the electoral register.

Postal voters are required to provide their date of birth and signature on a postal voting statement when returning their postal ballot papers. The information provided is subject to security checks against information already supplied by each elector. The personal identifiers are then checked for every postal vote received.

Council and police officers have undertaken visits to properties to ensure that voters are resident at the addresses and have submitted applications to register to vote or for a postal or proxy vote.

The city council has set up an election fraud hotline and anyone who has any concerns can report them by calling 01733 452277. Any concerns will be referred to the police for investigation. Alternatively, if you believe an offence is in progress contact police on 101. For general enquiries about the elections call 01733 452249.

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