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Council employees sentenced for electoral registration fraud

Two council staff who forged signatures and recorded false information on electoral registration forms have been sentenced by magistrates.

The pair had volunteered and trained to be canvassers and knock on the doors of people who had not filled in electoral registration forms.

They were tasked with getting the residents to complete the vital information for the council and for residents who would be unable to vote without it.

However, instead of filling out the paper household enquiry forms with the correct details they filled them in with spurious information and forged signatures.

The forms were submitted to the electoral team who spotted the information did match the details already on the council system.

Further checks revealed a large number of forms contained false information which had been completed by the employees rather than the named residents.

Zakhria Dar, 23, of Oatlands Drive, Manor Park, admitted one count of fraud on between 24 September and 1 December, 2018, and was sentenced at Reading Magistrates’ Court on November 12.

He was a housing officer at the time of the offence and resigned from his role after he was suspended during an investigation.

He was told to complete 220 hours of unpaid work, 20 rehabilitation days and pay £2973.06 costs.

Natalia Glowacka, 26, of Trelawney Avenue, Langley, also admitted one count of fraud between 24 September and 1 December, 2018.  At the time she was employed as a council housing officer, but resigned after being suspended during the investigation.

She was sentenced on December 12 and told to complete 50 hours of unpaid work, 10 rehabilitation days and pay £885 costs.

Josie Wragg, Slough Borough Council’s returning officer, said: “This was a breach of trust not only to their employers but also the people of Slough.

“The voting register is an important legal document which affects a resident’s ability to vote as well as their credit status.

“This is an example of where we take such matters extremely seriously and will not only take internal action but pursue it through the courts.”

She added the council potted the errors early and has now invested in an electronic registration system where tablets are used to capture the information

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  • be_ transparent

    22:02, 16 December 2019

    This is a good start, but I fear this is the tip of a much larger iceberg. Corruption within the council only discovered by accident is a total failure of process and the integrity of the whole system is at stake when this happens. It is long overdue electoral fraud and other types of fraud were made much more difficult by requiring NI numbers, Passport numbers, NHS numbers, mobile phone numbers, email addresses, bank account and sortcode details as part of registration. Gradually roll out more stringent checks little by little and soon this type of issue would be very difficult indeed, and it could stop a lot more fraud in local government besides. Of course, those benefitting or complicit in this type of electoral fraud will continue to complain about this 'damaging democracy' or some such tosh - when every sane person knows it will safeguard it ! I have of course noticed that one of the council staff in this story worked as a council housing officer ......... need I say more ???

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