Police ‘mind your language’ warning for general and district council elections

Detective Sergeant Ian Jarman.
Detective Sergeant Ian Jarman.
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Lincolnshire Police is warning people to “mind your language” as the general election campaign gets under way.

With exactly five weeks to go until polling day on Thursday, May 7, police are advising users of social media such as Facebook and Twitter, those who write to newspapers and campaigners to be careful what they say from now until the election is decided.

Certain derogatory comments about candidates standing in both general and South Holland District Council elections could be regarded as criminal offences and Detective Sergeant Ian Jarman, Lincolnshire Police’s lead for Electoral Malpractice, said people need to take care.

Det Sgt Jarman said: “Lincolnshire Police is committed to ensuring that elections are run in a fair and free manner so that the democratic process is unimpeded.

“It is a criminal offence for a person to make or publish any false statement of fact about a candidate’s personal character as such comments could lead to prosecution under the Representation of the People Act and a possible fine of up to £5,000.

“Additionally, such comments could also lead to civil action for slander being taken.”