A police operation in Cambridgeshire has been hailed a success after officers enforced a crackdown on illegal e-scooter use.
Operation Scoot, launched to tackle the illegal use of electric scooters on public roads, anti-social behaviour, and scooter thefts, was established following a spike in calls from members of the public.
Over the past year, officers from Cambridgeshire Police have been targeting e-scooter-related crimes, resulting in 30% drop in these types of offences, the force said.
PC Janine Hagger, who led the research, said: “This operation focused on education rather than enforcement. We found many law-abiding citizens did not know the law around using e-scooters, therefore we made it our objective to educate those people on what they can and can’t do, before enforcing the law and seizing the scooters.
“This meant working with parents to ensure they understood the requirements for owning and using an e-scooter after we found children to be using them, therefore not holding a driving licence. We also engaged with retailers selling e-scooters to ensure they were explaining the legal background behind them.”
Comparing January to March 2021 with the same period in 2022, e-scooter crimes fell by 31% from 55 to 38 recorded incidents.
Thefts of e-scooters also dropped by 69%, from 39 to 12, robbery of e-scooters dropped from 15 to two (86% drop), and the use of e-scooters to facilitate a crime fell by 51%, from 31 to 17.
Currently e-scooters are banned on public roads unless the rider has a licence and insurance, but that may soon be changing.
The Government has announced plans for a new low-speed, zero emission vehicle category, paving the way for the legalisation of private-use e-scooters.
New legislation on e-scooters is expected to be included in the upcoming Transport Bill, announced during last week’s Queen’s Speech for the upcoming parliamentary session.