Theft of election posters criminal offence: PSNI
Police in Londonderry have issued a warning following a spate of election poster thefts.
Dozens of candidates have reported the theft of campaign posters from lampposts as Northern Ireland prepares to go to the polls next month.
Last week, four people appeared in court charged with the theft and criminal damage of election posters, stolen from around the north coast.
Posting on social media, PSNI Foyle described the crimes as either "a moment of madness or something more sinister".
"Regardless it is a criminal offence. Depending on the circumstances it will be treated as theft or criminal damage," police warned.
"The posters are expensive to produce and they are the property of the people or parties standing for election."
PSNI Foyle said that, while members of the public will not agree with each and every political party, "we as a society must remember to respect freedom of speech and support the right to a free democratic vote".