E-scooter drive-by fears as rising vehicle crime leaves police chasing tails

Police data has found an increase in the involvement of e-scooters in crimes across the UK.

Figures show hundreds of assaults, burglaries and anti-social behaviour have been committed on the vehicles, including cases where riders have crashed into pedestrians or road vehicles while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

Trials of e-scooter hire schemes were permitted across Britain in July last year.

However, 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, PA reports.

In data released through Freedom of Information (FoI) requests Norfolk Constabulary listed details of 120 reports.

The force 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 listed, including 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 the side of a car”, the force said.

Cleveland Police said that between January and November last year, e-scooter incidents included anti-social behaviour (23), suspicious behaviour (6), transport (4) and robbery (2).

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The force did not provide details of individual cases, but disclosed that two people were “knocked down by someone on an e-scooter”.

MailOnline received responses from other forces, including London’s Metropolitan Police who recorded more than 200 incidents in 2020 and Merseyside Police who recorded more than 100 incidents in 2020.

The publication also revealed that Derbyshire Constabulary recorded 27, while the total for Staffordshire Police was 23.

Director of the Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety, David Davies, told the newspaper: “What this shows is that they’re 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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