People are being urged to watch what they say about election candidates online.
Lincolnshire Police says it is investigating comments made on a social media site in relation to elections.
Now, the force is advising people as to what commentary is permissible.
“It is a criminal offence for a person to make or publish any false statement of fact about a candidate’s personal character,” warns Detective Sergeant Jarman, the lead for Electoral Malpractice in Lincolnshire Police.
“This could lead to that person being prosecuted under the Representation of the People Act which imposes a fine of up to £5,000.
“Making such comments require police time to carry out an investigation. Time that people may consider is best suited to dealing with other crimes.
“However it is important that elections are run in a fair and free manner to ensure the democratic process is unimpeded.”
Because the investigation is ongoing, Lincolnshire Police says it cannot offer any further comment at the moment or give any information concerning the alleged comments.
In the recent, European and Council Elections however, police visited a Green Party activist in Cambridgeshire who published a spoof list of UKIP policies on his blog, following a complaint.
Several UKIP supporters and candidates across the country also faced police inquiries over allegations of racism and homophobia from their online comments