Police pledge to crack down on e-scooters

Posted On 17 Nov 2021 at 12:01 am

The police have pledged to crack down on e-scooters after a cyclist was seriously injured in a crash with one in Brighton and an officer was hurt by a rider.

Another rider died after crashing into a fence near Falmer railway station in the summer and the police said that evidence was growing of the popularity of e-scooters among drug dealers.

Yesterday (Tuesday 16 November) Sussex Police said that a 25-year-old e-scooter rider was found with cannabis on him.

When his Littlehampton home was searched, officers found more cannabis as well as a stash of cocaine, about £1,000 cash, scales and dealing bags and a large zombie-style knife.

Now the force has vowed to step up patrols and enforcement aimed at cracking down on the illegal use of e-scooters.

Sussex police and crime commissioner Katy Bourne said: “While I am a big supporter of more environmentally friendly transport solutions, we need to make it clear that e-scooters cannot legally be used in public spaces in Sussex.

“I have heard from many residents, including elderly people, who have been menaced and injured by irresponsible e-scooter riders.

“From police experience it seems that people who are prepared to break the law with no insurance or a valid licence are using e-scooters in drug dealing and other criminal activity which makes them a visible target for officers.

“Be warned. Your e-scooter can be seized and you can be fined or may injure yourself or someone else – so don’t put them on your Christmas wish list.”

Sussex Police said: “Across the country there are ‘Future Transport’ trials taking place, with the aim of gaining further insight into the environmental, health and safety benefits of these types of vehicles.

“Currently there are no areas in Sussex taking part in these trials and e-scooters remain illegal to use on public roads.”

Chief Inspector Michael Hodder said that safety was important, adding: “We will take action against anyone breaking the law.

“This could mean seizing the e-scooter and it could result in prosecution for using a motor vehicle without insurance or the appropriate licence.

“Our main aim is to keep people safe and reduce harm and injury on our roads.”

As well as having their scooters confiscated, those convicted could be fined and have penalty points added to their driving licence.

For more information and advice about electric scooters, click here.

  1. Nathan Adler Reply

    Rest of the civilised world – e scooters are legal with legislation to protect users and other road users.
    Here we want to be greener but continue to drag our heels over making these legal, a cheap, easy to store and green way to travel. Madness

  2. Helen Archer Reply

    To my knowledge cars kill more people than e-scooters. Are they not used by drug dealers too?

    • mart Burt Reply

      Helen Archer
      Bit of a pointless comment to make really, being there are currently 32.9 million vehicles on our roads, and an estimated 1 million e-scooters, but officially 22,644 (rented).
      So with 32 million drivers, one could work out easily this group has 32 million chances of being in a crash compared to just 1 million.

  3. Paul Temple Reply

    In other places on the south coast Portsmouth, Southampton, Bournemouth there are progressive councils that embrace the trial schemes for e scooters. Why on earth did this ‘Green’ administration not even bother to be considered? There is an elderly gentleman, (in his sixties), who live in my block and uses one of these and says it has changed his life.

    I really wish the police went after criminals that actually blight peoples lives.

  4. Robert Pattinson Reply

    Concentrate on crime,this just needs more regulation so riders know what is acceptable. If they are legal to buy they are legal to ride.
    A much bigger problem is scooters on pavements especially western road.

    • Nick M Reply

      Just because it is legal to buy something, doesn’t mean you can use it however you like. It’s legal to buy a kitchen knife but it’s not legal to stab someone with it!

    • Samuel green Reply

      They want these illegal because it puts more funds into the council of buses and other council transport. Selfish yes. I will still be riding my e-scooter as it has saved me money in the long run to get to and from work. In which I pay my taxes. Less cars on the road better future

      • mart Burt Reply

        Samuel green
        You do know police fines goes to the government and not councils don’t you ?

  5. Van Diesel Reply

    They’re an absolute menace and should be confiscated. Pull your socks up, Sussex Police.

  6. Bear Road resident Reply

    The problem with these E-Scooters is the total disregard that many of the riders show for the safety of pedestrians as they whizz along the pavements at relatively high speeds compared to someone walking. I read recently of ‘sports’ models of these contraptions capable of exceeding 60mph coming on to the market and wonder how long before we see someone using one of them on the pavement.
    And why are they ‘green’? – They do not involve the rider using up any energy just standing precariously on them. Compared to walking, cycling or even using a skateboard they are just another way of increasing the obesity crisis and are certainly useless for any form of distance travel – I doubt that many are used for journeys that couldn’t just as easily be done walking.

    • Ted Tucker Reply

      Scooters have a 25km = 30km range. My commute is 18km, (there and back), too far to walk and too hilly to cycle. My scoooter cost £270 and has done almost 16000 km. I stay off pavements, use the built in lights and breaks. of course they are Green – zero emmissions if using a green electric company. 95% of scooters are capped at 15.5mph (the top speed for ebikes). Yes there are some idiot riders and they need tackling just like some motorists and cyclists.

  7. Dave Reply

    The idea the e-scooters are dangerous and ride by nothing but drug dealers goes to show how out of touch and removed from reality the head of Sussex police is.
    If you can legally rent an identical scooter in London legally, how can it then be claimed that to own said vehicle is dangerous.

    Most e-scooter users would happily pay insurance but are not allowed to due to the outdated 1988 transport act.

    Any police stopping users for no reason (aka nothing better to do) why not start arresting the drug dealers that cruise around Hove in their flashy BMWs picking up going around the block and dropping off crakeheads.

    However I will say, happily anyone riding on the pavement should have them taken off them, this includes bikes that jump red lights and the 1 million mopeds that undercut cars and drive over pedestrianised roads.

  8. Lisa Reply

    My son had his £400 E scooter taking off him today in Brighton. Was only going to work. Now going to have to walk hour to work. His model went no faster then 15mph. Wasn’t doing nothing wrong and to get it back going to cost him £150 and can’t use it again . Till insurance ir rules change . Has 14 days to find £150

    • Nige Reply

      What part of ‘illegal on public roads’ do you and your son not undestand?

    • Hove Guy Reply

      Has he tried going by public transport?

  9. Damo Reply

    I just had mine seized for driving sensibly in the cycle lane along Lewes road. For nearly 25 years I’ve had a completely clean driving licence and have had no accidents despite driving a car almost daily for around 23 of those 25 years. I always ride it safely. £150 to get it the scooter back, and an additional 6 points and £300 for driving a “motor vehicle” without insurance, same penalty as careering down the motorway in a heavily laden uninsured van. These things are no different to ebikes in terms of danger to the public except they are generally lighter so arguably actually less dangerous. Lawmakers realise that the current law isn’t appropriate and are in the process of changing it to make it fair but they are slow to iron out the details, and unfortunately the officer was just looking for someone to pick on and I crossed his path at the wrong moment. No point enforcing this defunct law that’s just about to be phased out. I’d never had any issues with the police before but after this experience I feel totally alienated, it’s really left a bad taste in my mouth. He was a traffic officer on a motorcycle drafted in for Pride so not your usual Brighton police who I’ve never had any issue with at all despite driving the escooter daily for months

    • Andy Richards Reply

      So you finally got caught doing something illegal that you’d got away with for ages. Is that right?

      • Noodle Reply

        Legal in the next 3 months. Can’t wait to rub this in all the boring boomers faces.

        1988 traffic act was only ever invented for the sinclair C5.

        These are about as dangerous as frying bacon. (there will always be some looser that moans)

  10. Mick Reply

    The regular kick scooters get me around just fine TBH, and I don’t need to keep looking over my shoulder for some zealot cop hoping to increase his personal arrest stats.

  11. F Parker Reply

    is it not time to legalise these for road use only.? Personally I think many are a PITA simply because so many are being used on pavements.
    Time to allow them on the roads , have them insured sensibly and fine/confiscate the pavement users.

    I have never driven(never had the need until v recently) so mostly in past either cycled or walked and I can honestly say that I thought skate boarders or mobility scooters were the biggest menace but now E-scooters easily take the crown of most annoying and dangerous on pavements.
    For health reasons I often use a mobility scooter myself so having found them a pita in the past I am more cautious when approaching walkers and especially those with small children and dogs in case one suddenly steps unwittingly in front of my scooter.
    And yet..
    E scooters on the path’s are still easily the most irksome, often cutting across my path at speed. mob scooters have speed limiters yet these scooters seem not to and in all honesty I am surprise there are not more accidents(unless they are not being recorded)

    I dont particularly like E-Scooters but see no reason they should not be legalised for road use, one day their numbers may actually make in roads to reduce the amount of traffic on the roads.

    But please, get them off of the pavements.

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