PARTY bosses have called in the cops after a spate of thefts of and attacks on their election posters.

Both Conservatives and Liberal Democrats have complained of the vandalism and the over night disappearance of prominent posters in the tight race for Romsey and Southampton North.

Tories are alleging a “systematic” destruction of up to 100 of their posters, which they said amounted to “serious intimation” of the democratic process, and claimed they had no evidence it was happening to Lib Dem posters.

Their candidate Caroline Nokes said: “Even at my own home, at midnight I heard people attempting to take my own poster down.”

She added: “We are prepared to accept the occasional graffiti in the spirit of the election but what is going on seems to be planned and premeditated.”

“Our chairman has warned of strong action against our supporters if anybody should attempt to damage opposition posters but it seems this has not been reciprocated by our political opponents.”

Marc Gascgoine, agent for Lib Dem candidate Sandra Gidley, MP since 2000, said he had reported damage and thefts of both their own and Tory posters.

He said: “We suspect it’s an anti-politics thing rather than anything else.”

Similar complaints of poster attacks have been made by the Tories and Lib Dems in Winchester.

Martin Tod, the Lib Dem candidate said they had also seen a problem across the constituency including 27 posters reported last Thursday in Littleton and Harestock as well as problems in Chandler’s Ford, Hiltingbury, Littleton, Otterbourne, Shawford, Badger Farm, Westgate, Wonston & Micheldever and Sparsholt.

A police spokesman confirmed they were looking into complaints from both parties about stolen and vandalised posters. Anyone targeting billboards could face criminal damage charges which may result in a fine or court appearance.