Councillors: Harassment

Home Office written question – answered am ar 16 Mai 2024.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Photo of Baroness Eaton Baroness Eaton Ceidwadwyr

To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the merits of establishing a specific policing unit to support local councillors who are experiencing threats and intimidation.

Photo of Lord Sharpe of Epsom Lord Sharpe of Epsom The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department

The safety of our elected representatives is essential to the security of our country. All elected representatives should be able to participate fully in our democracy, without fear for their safety and security. Instances of abuse, intimidation and criminal offences are unacceptable, and that is why the Government will take every possible step to safeguard the people, processes, and institutions upon which our democracy relies.

On 28th February the Prime Minister announced the Government was investing an additional £31 million in funding to protect the democratic process and our elected representatives. Through this funding we are enhancing police capabilities, increasing private sector security provision for those facing a higher risk, and expanding cyber security advice to elected representatives.

The investment also enables the expansion of the Operation BRIDGER network, which already provides support to MPs, so that all elected representatives and candidates are given a dedicated, police contact to liaise with on security matters, where needed. Through this network elected representatives – including local councillors - will have access to security briefings from their local force.

The funding is accompanied by a new Defending Democracy Policing Protocol, agreed with police to enhance the safety of elected representatives, and protect the UK’s democratic process from disruption. Further information about the Protocol is available on GOV.UK.

The Defending Democracy Taskforce will continue to review the effectiveness of arrangements for protective security of elected representatives.

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