Police refer Dewsbury election fraud allegations to CPS

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POLICE have sent a file to the Crown Prosecution Service as part of investigations into voting fraud in Dewsbury.

Chf Supt David Lunn confirmed this week that evidence gathered so far was being looked at by prosecutors.

The investigations follows widespread allegations, including claims of postal vote fraud, during the run-up to Kirklees Council’s elections in May.

The focus of the investigation is the Dewsbury South ward, particularly the Savile Town and Thornhill Lees areas.

Enquiries began after concerns were raised about a significant increase in the number of people registering to vote by post in those areas.

Khizar Iqbal, who lost his seat in the ward after 14 years, alerted police to potential breaches in electoral procedures before the polls opened.

Others also raised concerns about potential postal vote fraud and other irregularities in voting on polling day.

Chf Supt Lunn told the Reporter: “In certain cases we put a file together that goes for advice from the CPS.”

He could not say how many suspects were involved at this stage as the police investigations were not finished.

But a council spokesman said the cases referred to the CPS related to ‘a small number of postal votes’.

Although the investigations could lead to convictions, they would be unlikely to trigger a by-election.

A council spokesman said: “A large number of issues were raised about this election, the vast majority by one individual, and they have all been thoroughly investigated.

“Though most have been found to be inaccurate, a small number have been passed to the CPS.”

He said the election result would not be affected by any convictions and could not be overturned by the council.

Under national electoral law, results can only be questioned if a group of at least four voters or a candidate raise a petition within 21 days of the result. If a judge went on to find the result was unsafe, they could order a by-election.