Police reveal hundreds of incidents involving ‘menace’ e-scooters
Electric scooters are being used in hundreds of offences including assaults, burglaries and anti-social behaviour, according to police data.
Other cases involve riders drunk and high on drugs crashing into pedestrians and vehicles.
Trials of e-scooter hire schemes have been permitted in cities across Britain since July last year, but most crimes are believed to involve private e-scooters, which can only legally be used in the UK on private land but are a common sight on roads and pavements.
Incidents involving the scooters have been disclosed by forces in response to Freedom of Information (FoI) requests.
In a reply seen by the PA news agency, Norfolk Constabulary listed details of 120 reports.
They included “suspects on electric scooters” following an assault, a male on an e-scooter who carried out a burglary, and a person who “made off from police” using an e-scooter.
A number of traffic offences were also outlined by the force, such as an e-scooter pulling a trailer on a 60mph road, and an “intoxicated male” who left a supermarket car park on an e-scooter “following an altercation”.
There was also a “minor injury” when an e-scooter was “ridden into side of a car”, the force said.
Cleveland Police said that between January and November last year, incidents involving e-scooters included anti-social behaviour (23), suspicious behaviour (six), transport (four) and robbery (two).
The force did not provide details of individual cases, but disclosed that two people were “knocked down by someone on an e-scooter”.
The Daily Mail received responses from other forces, including London’s Metropolitan Police (more than 200 incidents in 2020) and Merseyside Police (more than 100 incidents in 2020).
Derbyshire Constabulary recorded 27, while the total for Staffordshire Police was 23, according to the newspaper.
Chris Theobald, senior campaigns manager at charity Guide Dogs, said: “Legalising e-scooters would have a dramatic and irreversible effect on our streets.
“We have one chance to make sure that people with sight loss and other disabilities do not lose out as a result.
“We are concerned that as e-scooter use grows, more people with sight loss will be forced to change their route or avoid independent travel altogether.
“We need action now to make e-scooters safer, tackle dangerous and anti-social behaviour by e-scooter drivers and to stop sales of high-speed e-scooters.”
David Davies, director of the Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety, told the Daily Mail the police figures demonstrate that e-scooters are “a bloody menace”.
He went on: “We have an interim situation where the Department for Transport is monitoring trials, meanwhile people are buying them hand over fist in shops and clearly using them, and we don’t feel retailers are necessarily being responsible.
“The restrictions are not tough enough on sale as there’s no regulation at all.”
Riders who take part in the trials need a valid driving licence, while the e-scooters have a maximum speed of 15.5mph.
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