Police could face charges if they get involved in elections
2:10pm Friday 28th September 2012 in News
POLICE officers could face criminal charges if they get involved in this year’s police and crime commissioner elections.
The warning over electioneering came from Deputy Chief Constable Jeff Farrar at yesterday’s meeting of Gwent Police Authority.
“If I have got police officers putting things through people’s doors and electioneering for a candidate they will be dealt with through disciplinary procedures or criminal procedures,” the senior officer said.
By law, police officers could commit a criminal offence by electioneering for a police and crime commissioner candidate.
Dep Chief Constable Farrar said there had already been incidents that he has had to deal with.
The Argus previously reported that Gwent Police internally investigated one case of an officer alleged to have made an inappropriate comment on a social networking site in relation to a candidate. The officer received words of advice.
One independent police authority member, John Hathaway, took an opportunity at the meeting to come out in support of independent candidate and retired senior policeman Ian Johnston.
Keith Reynolds, Labour councillor from Aberbargoed, also declared he would be supporting a candidate.
He didn’t say who, but Labour is fielding lawyer Hamish Sandison for the role. Nick Webb will run for the Tories in Gwent, while Chris Wright, a retired policeman, has said he will run. Tracey Lee is leaving her managing director post at Newport council in October but is to return to Gwent to act as returning officer for the election on November 15.