PSNI investigates 80 reports of election poster attacks

Dozens of reports of election posters attacked have been reported to police in Northern Ireland.

The Police Service of Northern Ireland confirmed that from March 22 to April 26 they received 98 reports relating to the Assembly election next month.

A PSNI spokesperson said there had been 80 reports of election posters being damaged, removed or destroyed across Northern Ireland.

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SDLP candidate Elsie Trainor was attacked in Belfast by two youths who also tried to snatch her mobile phone

Political parties in Northern Ireland have condemned any attempt to attack or remove candidates’ posters.

Chief Superintendent Muir Clark said: “The Police Service of Northern Ireland is committed to doing everything in its power to ensure that all candidates can participate fully in the forthcoming Northern Ireland Assembly elections. North without harassment, intimidation and other forms of crime.”

“We are thoroughly investigating incidents reported to us, including the removal and destruction of election posters, and any suspects identified will be subject to prosecution.”

One disorder penalty notice and one community resolution notice have been issued so far, police said, and five other cases have been sent to the Crown.

Chief Superintendent Clarke said: ‘There are a number of other investigations being followed up.

“As with all incidents and offences, due consideration will be given to whether or not they are perceived to be motivated by hate.”

“I would strongly advise people against engaging in this criminal behavior. I urge anyone who witnesses the theft or damage to election posters to contact the police immediately.

Belfast South constituency candidate Elsie Trainor spoke out earlier this month after she was attacked by two youths who also tried to snatch her mobile phone.

Police are investigating the attack as a hate crime.

Polling stations open for the Assembly election on May 5.

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