What are you talking about?
On 10th April 2015 the BBC reported that Kim Rose, the UKIP candidate in the General Election for Southampton Itchen is due to be questioned on Monday by Hampshire Constabulary’s Economic Crime Unit over allegations of ‘treating’.
Treating, as in ‘trick or treating’?
Nothing to do with that. ‘Treating’ is an offence under s114 Representation of the People Act 1983. This is defined as –
“A person shall be guilty of treating if he corruptly, by himself or by any other person, either before, during or after an election, directly or indirectly gives or provides, or pays wholly or in part the expense of giving or providing, any meat, drink, entertainment or provision to or for any person—
(a) for the purpose of corruptly influencing that person or any other person to vote or refrain from voting; or
(b) on account of that person or any other person having voted or refrained from voting, or being about to vote or refrain from voting“
The person who receives the meat is also guilty of an offence, if he accepts it ‘corruptly’.
What’s the penalty?
The offence is either way, with a maximum sentence of 2 years.
What did he do?
According to the BBC, the allegation is that “he tried to influence voters by giving away sausage rolls at a party event featuring snooker star Jimmy White.”
For obvious reasons, we won’t say any more at this stage as to the allegations or anything relating to it.
But, a quick reminder for the Police Officers who interview Mr Rose – they need to be careful when discussing politics as it is a criminal offence (summary only with a level 3 fine) to “by word, message, writing or in any other manner, endeavour to persuade any person to give, or dissuade any person from giving, his vote, whether as an elector or as proxy“.