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Kent Police investigate reports of criminal damage to UKIP European election campaign posters in Black Bull Road in Folkestone

By Matt Leclere

Police are looking into reports of criminal damage to UKIP posters in Folkestone after they were tagged with stickers offering alternative slogans.

Mystery shrouds who made the changes made to the controversial campaign posters ahead of the European Elections on May 22.

The edited posters with rewritten messages attacking the party's policies on labour and its belief that Britain no longer has control over making its own laws appeared last Sunday.

One of the election campaign posters stuck with alternative slogans
One of the election campaign posters stuck with alternative slogans

One of the alterations reads "Have you tried hating foreigners… We think you'll like it" underneath a UKIP claim that 75% of laws in Britain are made in Brussels and the question "who really runs this country?".

Another replies to UKIP's suggestion EU laws are hitting British workers with "unlimited cheap labour" by saying instead UKIP is "keeping low paid jobs for British workers".

But today Kent Police today confirmed it was investigating.

UKIP county councillor for Folkestone, Frank McKenna, said he had contacted the police about the vandalism to the posters.

They had advised him the nature of some of the comments daubed on the billboards constituted a hate crime and would investigate on that basis.

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Mr McKenna said: "The police are taking it seriously. We first thought it was just vandalism but when we saw the comments we realised it was not just trivial comments that we probably have ignored."

UKIP was particularly concerned with the 'Have you tried hating foreigners?' comment splashed on one poster.

Mr McKenna said: "It is offensive because it implies we don't like foreigners."

A Kent Police spokesman said: "Kent Police is investigating reports of criminal damage that occurred between April 20 and April 28 to billboards along Black Bull Road, Folkestone.

"No arrests have been made and inquiries are ongoing."

Police are now investigating reports of criminal damage to the posters
Police are now investigating reports of criminal damage to the posters

It is unclear from where the mysterious slogans have emerged.

UKIP is a long-term opponent to the UK's membership of the European Union and is against British involvement in the European Parliament in Brussels.

The posters are at the bottom of Blackbull Road, the junction between Canterbury Road and Dover Road and opposite The Cube in Tontine Street.

UKIP holds all three Folkestone seats at Kent County Council after elections last May.

Leader Nigel Farage told KentOnline earlier last month he would "more than likely" stand in Kent in the General Election next year.

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