Two men questioned over ballot papers stolen in Telford

Police say they have identified and interviewed two men in relation to ballot papers stolen in Telford but their investigations are continuing.

The ballot papers were taken from Dawley Town Hall on December 16 at about 11.50pm, during the Dawley and Aqueduct ward by-election.

Bags containing the ballot papers were later found disposed of nearby and returned to the council for safe retention.

A West Mercia police spokesperson said: "Thank you to everyone who shared our appeal regarding the stolen ballot papers in Telford. Two men have now been identified in connection with the incident, and interviewed by police.

Investigations into the incident continue and anyone with any information that could help the investigation further is asked to visit westmercia.police.uk/tua/tell-us-about quoting reference 730 of 16 December.

Alternatively, contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111 or at crimestoppers-uk.org

During the incident council staff were mugged and robbed of hundreds of ballot papers after being approached by a group of men as they left the building.

Two officials were reportedly threatened, with a bag containing around 800 ballots from the election in the Aqueduct ward of Dawley Hamlets Parish Council stolen.

David Sidaway, chief executive of Telford & Wrekin Council and the returning officer for the election, said at the time that it had been a "very distressing incident".

He said support and counselling had been offered to the staff affected.

It was also confirmed that none of the ballots contained any personal information to identify potential voters.

Mr Sidaway said: "This was a shocking incident at the end of a successful, well-managed election count. Our officers have the right to do their job in a safe environment without fear of attack.

"What happened on Thursday evening was an utter disgrace and we will work tirelessly with the police to ensure justice is delivered."

A joint statement was also been issued by the three main political parties, which all fielded candidates in the parish by-election.

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