Tower Hamlets Elections 2018 policing update

The Metropolitan Police has released the latest policing update for policing the May 2018 local and mayoral elections in Tower Hamlets.  

MPS Commander David Musker

Commander David Musker is now the senior Metropolitan Police officer in charge –  or in police parlance the ‘Gold Commander’ – of the extensive police operations necessary for a fair vote to take place in the borough. He is based at New Scotland Yard.

Commander Musker gained a PhD in Natural Sciences specialising in Secondary Product Plant Biochemistry before joining the Met which, in addition to his extensive policing experience, should come in handy for navigating the swamp that is politics in the borough.

Tower Hamlets Borough Commander Detective Chief Superintendent Sue Williams and Chief Inspector Helen Lewis support Commander Musker as Silver and Bronze commanders respectively.

The key parts of the MPS update is reproduced below. The number of allegations of electoral fraud and malpractice has continued to rise.

No surprises there.

The policing of this year’s elections is a separate police operation to the current criminal investigation being carried out into the Tower Hamlets First administration of Lutfur Rahman known as Operation Lynemouth. 

Met Police report

Relevant Arrests and Reported Crime

All Special Enquiry Team notifications/allegations of electoral fraud and malpractice in relation to the Local & Mayoral Elections on May 3rd 2018

As of 15.20hrs on Wednesday 31st January 2018 the SET have received a total of 15 notifications/allegations in relation to the Local and Mayoral Elections on 3rd May 2018.

Of these all 15 relate specifically to London Borough of Tower Hamlets.

The table below outlines the Tower Hamlets notifications/allegations:

NumberDate ReportedAllegationReported BySET Update
121.02.17Canvassing ActivityMember of PublicClosed
228.11.17Canvassing ActivityJournalistOngoing
306.12.17Canvassing ActivityCouncillorOngoing
411.12.17False Statement as to Candidate allegation.CouncillorOngoing
514.12.17False Statement as to Candidate allegation.CouncillorOngoing
615.12.17False Statement as to Candidate allegation.CouncillorOngoing
716.12.17False Statement as to Candidate allegation.CouncillorOngoing
825.12.17Breach of Imprint allegation.CouncillorOngoing
925.12.17False Statement as to Candidate allegation.CouncillorOngoing
1005.01.18Corrupt withdrawal of candidature allegation.CandidateOngoing
1112.01.18Canvassing ActivityCouncillorOngoing
1216.01.18False Statement as to candidate allegation.CouncillorOngoing
1320.01.18Misuse of corporate literature.CouncillorOngoing
1423.01.18False Statement as to candidate allegation.CouncillorOngoing
1524.01.18False document.MPOngoing

All Tower Hamlets crime reports from Jan 2018 that are considered related to the Election or involving a MP, councillor or candidate:

Date ReportedAllegationReported byHT Update
January 18, 2018Malicious communicationsCouncillorOngoing investigation
January 18, 2018Malicious communicationsCouncillorOngoing investigation


This situation report is to provide information on our policing plan and issues relating to the policing of Tower Hamlets Local and Mayoral election on 3rd May 2018. The aim is to be as open and transparent in our communication. This communication will go to key stakeholders on the Borough and is unrestricted so the information contained can be shared. It will be sent periodically leading up to the Election and then at several times throughout Election Day. Should there be a need we will issue a situation report at any time to provide clarity on events/media that is being circulated.

In the run up to the Tower Hamlets Elections on 3rd May 2018, we will work closely with the Electoral Commission, HMIC, and all the local authorities to ensure we play our part to protect the integrity of the electoral process in London.

It is vital to ensure the integrity of the democratic process, so in the run up to the election, and on the day itself, there will be a policing plan in place in Tower Hamlets. This will include additional officers on duty based at polling stations.

Police contact details

Anyone with any information about potential election fraud or malpractice is asked to pass that to police so it can be investigated. Email us at, call 101, or contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 who will pass the information on to Tower Hamlets Police.

Command and Control

GOLD: Commander David Musker

SILVER: Detective Chief Superintendent Sue Williams

BRONZE: Chief Inspector Helen Lewis

Strategic intentions

It is the intention to deliver our core responsibilities at events in a manner compatible with the values of the Metropolitan Police Service. This event will be effectively, safely and proportionately policed.

Tower Hamlets Elections

Our aim is to implement a policing operation that supports the electoral process in Tower Hamlets that is transparent and engenders public confidence.

Our core responsibilities are:

  • Provide transparent and open communications
  • Support partnership plans as agreed by the Returning Officer
  • Ensure officers receive appropriate training and briefings
  • Improve community confidence in policing elections in Tower Hamlets

Operational Update

A planning meeting for the Tower Hamlets Election was held on the 25/01/18. A proportionate and effective policing plan was discussed with a robust crime strategy in partnership with the Special Enquiry Team (SET)

Training has been arranged and underway for all Police Officers at Tower Hamlets working the Elections. This will cover relevant legislation and electoral offences contained in the Representation of the People Act 1983 (RPA 1983). There will also be inputs from our Specialist units with expertise in this area.

We having upcoming meetings with London Borough of Tower Hamlets Council, the Electoral Commission and our colleagues from SET. We have set up a working protocol that has been agreed whereby any allegation of crime made through LBTH will be referred directly to the police and the complainant contacted.

On Election day, Tower Hamlets police will have a dedicated team of officers in direct conversation with LBTH Electoral Services and will co-ordinate the policing response to any issues. There will be a comprehensive social media plan as part of the overall Communication Strategy.

The next Current Situation Report will be published in due course.


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