City of London police seize 26 e-bikes in latest crackdown

Police dish out advice to cyclist near Bank Junction    (City of London Police )
Police dish out advice to cyclist near Bank Junction (City of London Police )

City of London Police have seized 26 illegal e-bikes in a blitz on cycles being adjusted so they can reach dangerously high speeds.

The seized e-bikes have been modified and illegally converted to have a motor greater than 250 watt and include a throttle that means the rider no longer needs to propel the pedals to trigger the power assistance.

Legal e-bikes are not permitted to exceed 15.5mph and the motor will cut out if the maximum speed is hit. Illegal bikes have been seen doing nearly double the permitted limit, police say.

The force’s cycle team also issued 10 fixed penalty notices around the Bishopsgate and Aldgate area, with assistance from the Road Policing Unit and Neighbourhood Policing officers on Wednesday and Thursday last week.

Chief Superintendent Rob Atkin said: “We are addressing a number of complaints from members of the public who have voiced concerns about these vehicles. Some people have told us that they have nearly been hit and have seen riders mount pavements and run through red lights.

“I’ve witnessed the brilliant proactive police work in removing these dangerous bikes from our roads and streets. One of the vehicles we’ve seized can clock a speed of 56mph.

“The continued hard work of our officers shows our commitment to reducing anti-social behaviour by road users for the benefit of those that live, work and visit the Square Mile.”

The City of London Police relaunched its cycling capability last summer to help combat phone snatching, as well as other offences like drug and road offences. The Cycle Response Unit highly visible, approachable and able to quickly get through areas inaccessible to vehicles.

Since the team was formed in July of last year, 944 fixed penalty notices have been issued which include going through red lights or putting themselves and pedestrians  at risk.