Conservative election agent finds nails placed in front of car tyres outside his home
PUBLISHED: 07:13 12 December 2019 | UPDATED: 07:13 12 December 2019
A councillor and party agent in the General Election campaign has spoken out after discovering that someone had tried to damage his car, saying that he "finds this side of politics totally unacceptable".
Ian Sherwood, 57, Breckland councillor for Swaffham and a Conservative political agent, left his house on the morning of Wednesday, December 11, to discover that someone had placed 10 nails in front of his car's tyres in what he calls a "deliberate attempt" to damage his property.
Mr Sherwood says that the nails were "too well-placed to have been any kind of fluke or accident".
He informed the police of the incident, which he believes to be politically motivated as he display pro-Conservative signage outside his home.
He said: "The police officer said it was an attempt at criminal damage. I could have driven over those nails and my tyres could have punctured up the road. It could have caused me to have an accident - I guess he's right.
"It's the kind of thing we've come to expect, not that I think it's acceptable."
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Mr Sherwood is acting as agent for three Conservative parliamentary candidates in this election, and has been performing this role for 18 years, alongside his 20-year stint as a councillor.
He is experienced in the political arena, but says that he has never known anything like the current level of criticism and abuse directed towards politicians and supporters of other political parties.
He said: "Being civil to your opponent is mostly there, but it seems like some of the mutual respect for each other and for people's opinions seems to have gone, and I do attribute a good part of that to social media. People will say things on there that I think they would find difficult to say to your face, but sometimes that does transfer into an action or a behaviour that probably wouldn't happen.
"It's almost like everyone else's opinion is more important than anyone else's. There doesn't seem to be any acceptance that someone can have a justified different view. There's a general feeling that I haven't experienced previously.
"I'll be glad when the polls close. I think all the parties have realised that, once we get past tomorrow, whatever the result, all the parties have got to have a serious look at the way we conduct politics going forward."
Mr Sherwood has "complete faith" that "politics can get back to where it needs to be" and says that he hasn't been put off by this event orother recent examples of abuse or violence toward politicians and parties.
He said: "It hasn't upset me, I'm just disappointed that somebody felt that this was the way to express their disapproval of my view. I tend to do it through the ballot box rather than any aggressive action.
"My answer to it was to make sure to deliver some extra leaflets, and to make sure to double check my tyres next time."