Police asked to investigate campaign sign vandalism

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Ash Bolt

Victorian senator Sarah Henderson has called for Victoria Police to investigate “systemic vandalism” of the Liberal’s campaign signs in Corangamite.

Ms Henderson said around 45 of Liberal candidate Stephanie Asher’s signs around the region had been damaged throughout the campaign.

“In a democracy such as ours, this criminal behaviour cannot be tolerated,” she said.

“Stephanie Asher’s signs have been stolen and defaced with graffiti including Nazi swastika-like symbols. On some signs, the photograph of Stephanie’s face has been cut out.

“On the day when the Victorian Liberal’s proposal to ban the Nazi swastika has been accepted, this deeply offensive, criminal behaviour must be stopped.

“I estimate around 45 Steph Asher signs have been damaged … [and] ten large signs and fifteen small signs have been stolen.”

“Overnight [on Tuesday] there’s been an orchestrated vandalism blitz with six large Liberal signs damaged. These vandals arrive in the dead of night intent on causing maximum damage.

“This is the work of our political opponents. I have seen no evidence of any vandalism of Labor signs.”

Ms Henderson said the “shameful behaviour must end”.

“I believe we need tougher electoral laws to stop this criminal behaviour such as requiring all candidates, including members of parliament, to certify that they will report any criminal behaviour concerning their nomination of which they become aware,” she said.

“At the last federal election, I suffered a similar fate with my campaign signs. Since 2016, anonymous trolls … have subjected me to ongoing harassment and abuse which has triggered a police investigation.

“I will continue to fight the vandals and trolls who are an affront to our democracy.”