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Political debate and discussion underpins our democratic process and is a key component of public life. But on occasions this can go too far spilling over into intimidatory behaviour.

This can cause candidates to question whether they have made the right decision to participate and engage in public life. Female candidates in particular may suffer a disproportionate level of unacceptable behaviour including online abuse and harassment.

The Police Service of Northern Ireland, Electoral Commission, Electoral Office and the Public Prosecution Service have produced this guidance to give candidates the knowledge and tools to recognise and respond to intimidatory and criminal behaviour.

Guidance for Election Candidates