E-scooter warning from the police as collisions and crimes surge

Martin Evans
·2-min read
The police have issued a warning around the use of e-scooters - PA
The police have issued a warning around the use of e-scooters - PA

Retailers selling E-scooters have been warned by the police to remind customers the vehicles remain illegal in all public spaces.

The move comes ahead of an expected rush on sales in the run up to Christmas.

In an open letter to companies selling the battery powered machines, a senior Scotland Yard officer said the police would not hesitate in prosecuting riders if they were caught ignoring the law.

But the warning comes ahead of a trial expected to launch in the spring that will allow rented scooters to operate in London.

E-scooters have been hugely popular as convenient modes of transport, especially during the lockdown.

When specially modified they can reach speeds of up to 70mph and there has been a 700 per cent increase in collisions in recent months, with one recorded fatality.

The machines have also increasingly been used in robberies, thefts and assaults, with the most recent figures showing 300 crimes involving scooters in the last three months. 

In the open letter, Commander Kyle Gordon said all responsible companies selling the scooters had a duty to remind customers of the law relating to their use.

He wrote: "As retailers, many of you will have seen an increase in sales of e-scooters over recent months, during lockdowns and now in the lead-up to Christmas. 

"The Metropolitan Police Service (MPS), together with Transport for London (TfL), understand that many customers buying e-scooters may not be aware that they are illegal in public places and on roads in London, and the UK as a whole.

"We urge you to ensure there is accurate information, prominent both in-store and online, to make customers aware that private e-scooters are illegal on public roads, pavements and other public places.

"The MPS is engaging with e-scooter users and, where necessary, enforcing the legislation, which can include criminal prosecution;  points on the e-scooter rider’s driving licence,  fines for no insurance,  and seizure of the scooter."

Despite the warning  legilsation was amended in the summer that will allow the rental of e-scooters.

Transport for London (TfL) has recently launched an offer for companies to come forward to operate a trial of rental e-scooters in London in the spring of 2021.