How The Metropolitan Police Force Polices Electric Scooters

REVEALING THE TRUTH ABOUT THE POLICING OF E-SCOOTERS IN LONDON

Written by Ed Wiles, Scootered Founder

Key Points
  • Confiscations fluctuate between months.
  • More confiscations in 2020 compared with 2019.
  • 284 e-scooters confiscated in 2020.

  • Introduction

    After discovering that only the London police forces, and especially the Metropolitan Police, had taken any real action on e-scooter riders in 2019, I have been following up with the Met regularly to find out how many e-scooters they have been confiscating. They respond reasonably promptly and, after an initial refusal, now disclose the figures, which always prove interesting.


    Results

    The results for each month in 2019 and 2020 are tabulated below. They are a little confusing (even taking the Covid lockdown into consideration), with big jumps in certain months that cannot be explained by anything other than a change in policing itself (ie unannounced crackdowns). Such crackdowns are surprising considering e-scooter trials are taking place across the country and the Government announced their intention to legalise them. Read more about the law on e-scooters.


    As the Met have previously stated that they will only confiscate an e-scooter when there is aggravating circumstances, I have to assume that the increase in confiscations tallies with an increase in unsociable behaviour (eg riding on pavements or jumping red lights). As the popularity of e-scooters continues to increase, it is reasonable to assume that so will the number of riders using them in ways that would be illegal if they were bicycles. As such, the best way to avoid having your e-scooter confiscated may be to avoid doing anything "aggravating": ie do not ride them in a way that would be illegal if you were riding a bike, such as riding on the pavement.


    Confiscations By Metropolitan Police Per Month In 2020
    Month (2020)

    Confiscations

    January 7
    February 38
    March 3
    April 1
    May 4
    June 2
    July 17
    August 15
    September 72
    October 42
    November 46
    December 37
    Total 284

    Confiscations By Metropolitan Police Per Month In 2019
    Month (2019)

    Confiscations

    January-June 0
    July 25
    August 14
    September 3
    October 5
    November 4
    December 3
    Total 54
    Recovering Your Electric Scooter

    Having your e-scooter "seized" sounds catastrophic, but what the London police forces are failing to mention in their publicity is that you can simply retrieve your e-scooter - or "motor vehicle" - from one of their vehicle recovery units (in Charlton or Perivale). It costs £150 plus £10 for every day it is there. It is thus probably worth your while retrieving it.