Police investigating destruction of SDLP election billboard in Derry
POLICE are investigating the destruction of a party election billboard belonging to the SDLP in Derry.
A PSNI spokesman said it was probing a "report of criminal damage" in the Bonds Hill area in the early hours of Saturday.
SDLP leader Colum Eastwood said that the destruction of the billboard "won't stop people voting for change" in the Assembly election on Thursday.
"This has been an incredibly nasty election campaign so far with SDLP candidates coming under attack in constituencies across the north," he said.
"Those responsible can tear down posters, they can destroy billboards but they will not stop people voting for change on Thursday and they will never stop us putting people first."
He added: "Everyone in Derry should come out on Thursday, prove the vandals wrong, vote SDLP and send three powerful voices to Stormont to deliver for you".
The PSNI spokesman said police "are committed to doing everything we can to ensure all candidates can participate fully in the forthcoming Northern Ireland Assembly election free from harassment, intimidation and other forms of criminality".
"We are investigating thoroughly all incidents which have been reported to us, including the removal and destruction of election posters, and any identified suspects will be liable to prosecution," he said.
"I would appeal to anyone who witnesses the theft or damage of election posters to contact police on 101 immediately."