Chief Superintendent Michelle Shooter, Derbyshire Constabulary’s lead for the 2019 General Election, said: “In Derbyshire the force takes its role in ensuring that the democratic process is able to proceed unhindered very seriously.
“The abuse or intimidation of candidates, their staff or volunteers is not welcome in Derbyshire and will be dealt with in a robust manner.
“The Human Rights Act provides for varied views within any democratic society which are welcome but those on every side of the political spectrum must be clear not to step over the line and into criminality, including abuse, harassment or disorder. There are serious penalties for those who do so.
“The guidance that has been created at a national level does not seek to limit anyone’s campaigning in any way – rather it gives a series of precautionary steps and sensible advice to ensure that safety of candidates and those campaigning alongside them.”
Candidates are advised to:
Engage with their single point of contact within their local force for candidate security;
Take active steps around personal safety to keep themselves and their campaign staff safe;
Not to canvass alone and make sure someone knows where they are canvassing;
Keep records of any intimidating behaviour or abuse;
Conduct an online health check to ensure sensitive personal information is not widely available;
Report intimidation or abuse to internet service providers and social media platforms.
Candidates are also warned of potential signals that behaviour could be escalating – threats of imminent violence, fixated ideas or release of personal information not already in the public domain – and to immediately call 999 in an emergency.
If you are a candidate and you wish to have further contact with an officer then please contact Derbyshire police using any of the below methods with your name and contact details.
Facebook – send us a private message to /DerbyshireConstabulary
Twitter – direct message our contact centre on @DerPolContact