There have been reports of intimidation and threats to our candidates, canvassers and supporters, both online and on the streets.
Because of this, we have updated our advice to all activists. Here are the top five things you can do to stay safe based on the detailed police guidance and our Party best practice:
1. Canvass and campaign in groups
Make sure you do not canvass alone. The police recommend canvassing in groups of 3 or more. If the area is unfamiliar, try to go in a bigger group of 5 or more people. Make sure you stay within sight of each other while you’re on the street. In the evenings, take enough torches to have one each and make sure you all have each other’s mobile phone numbers. Remember how quickly it gets dark at this time of year.
2. Candidates should always be accompanied, and tell people your schedule
Candidates should always take at least one person with them when going out anywhere. It only takes a moment to be recognised and accosted. All volunteers should make sure other team members know what they’re doing and where they’re going. When campaigning, ask someone to call you slightly after the time you think you’ll be finished to check everything is OK.
3. If you feel unsafe, be polite and step back
Be careful and trust your judgment. Don’t get into arguments. Be polite at all times, even if the other person is not. If you feel someone may be following you, get to a well lit public place with other people, call for help and stay there until help can come to you.
Do not engage with anyone who is stalking or harassing you, online or in person.
4. Write it down
If something does happen, write down as much as you can remember. Be as specific as you can about words people used and what happened. Please send this information to Natalia, our Head of HR at Lib Dem HQ, who is tracking these issues, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
5. Call the police if you’re worried
- Call 999 if the threat or danger is immediate, for example, a threat of imminent violence, someone makes a very specific type of threat or reference to a plan, someone has access to weapons, or someone releases private personal information about you.
- Call 101 to report suspicious activity that has already occurred, for example, abusive or threatening language or repeated unwanted contact.
If you’re a candidate, you should have a dedicated contact in your local force. Contact them now to establish your relationship and update them if anything occurs.