The joint operation involves researching all available information together with intelligence gathering and other forensic enquiries. A special team has been formed from members of the economic crime unit of West Midlands Police and officials from the local authority's elections office to carry out enquiries expediently into possible electoral fraud.
In the past some political parties have collected postal votes from voters and hand delivered them in bulk to the elections office and, though this practice is not unlawful, it causes considerable delay in the process. The police and returning officer feel this is not good practice and should be discouraged.
Returning officer Lin Homer said: 'We have held discussions with all political parties and asked them to stop this practice.'
Assistant chief constable (crime) Stuart Hyde said: 'We are working very closely with the authorities to prevent and, if necessary, investigate any offences.'
It is very important that if members of the public have information about any criminal activity by anyone interfering with the electoral process, they should report it immediately to their local police. They can contact the police on 0845 113 5000 or Crime Stoppers on 0800 555111.
If members of the public have any enquiries in relation to voting, they should contact the elections officers at 150 Great Charles Street, Birmingham, or telephone 0121 303 2737.
LGC story CRATE OF UNCOUNTED VOTES FOUND