Destruction of election posters will lead to prosecutions, warn Derry police
The PSNI in Derry have said they are in the process of prosecuting people who are believed to have destroyed election posters in the run up to the Council elections next month.
Officers at Strand Road said they were keeping an open mind about whether the destruction and removal of posters was vandalism or "something more sinister".
In a statement the force said: "Police have recently detected and are in the process of prosecuting people who have damaged/removed or destroyed election posters. This could simply be a moment of madness or something more sinister.
"Regardless it is a criminal offence. Depending on the circumstances it will be treated as Theft or Criminal Damage. The posters are expensive to produce and they are the property of the people or parties standing for election. These posters will be put up and removed under the Guidance of The Electoral Commission.
"You will not agree with each and every political party, candidate or policy but we as a society must remember to respect freedom of speech and support the right to a free democratic vote.
"The opportunity to vote is a cornerstone of democracy and a human rights issue. Facilitating a fair, peaceful and effective voting process is a primary concern for the police service. Therefore we will act on behalf of ALL when enforcing the law when required."