REVEALING THE TRUTH ABOUT THE POLICING OF E-SCOOTERS IN LONDON
Written by Ed Wiles, Scootered Founder
In November 2021, the Met Police announced they would stop routinely seizing e-scooters (much to the chagrin of Northamptonshire MP Paul Bone). However, the Met Police were the only police force that had been taking any real action against e-scooter riders in the UK. I have been following up with the Met regularly to find out how many e-scooters they have been confiscating each month.
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The results are tabulated below. After a peak in 2021 (nearly 4000), the numbers confiscated fell sharply in 2022 and have continued to delcline in 2023, matching the Met's statement. When considered against their increasing popularity (meaning there are more e-scooters on the roads each year), it suggests the police really are spending their time on more appropriate ways. It is to be hoped that someone has explained to Chief Superintendent Simon Ovens that e-scooters are not in fact the most dangerous vehicles on our roads. If he still believes this, I am willing to let him ride into me on an e-scooter as long as I can then drive into him in my car.
Interestingly, VICE News was exploring whether there has been a disproportionate number of seizures in the black community, with black teenagers allegedly targeted. It may well be true that teenagers are more likely to ride e-scooters unsocially (such as riding on the pavement) but there is no data regarding the populairty of e-scooters by race (that would be a bit weird) so it would seem impossible to draw firm conclusions. However, with Mayor of London Sadiq Khan constantly complaining about his policing budget, I would argue it would be better to direct resources at tackling violent crime rather than seizing e-scooters from London teens.
Confiscations By Metropolitan Police Per Month In 2023
| Month (2023)
Confiscations By Metropolitan Police Per Month In 2022
| Month (2022)
Confiscations By Metropolitan Police Per Month In 2021
| Month (2021)
Confiscations By Metropolitan Police Per Month In 2020
| Month (2020)
Confiscations By Metropolitan Police Per Month In 2019
| Month (2019)
Recovering Your Electric Scooter
Police forces should be taking scooters seized under laws regarding "motor vehicles" to their vehicle recovery units (Charlton or Perivale in London), where owners can retrieve their scooters for a fee (the Met charges £150 plus £10 for every day). However, I have heard that police forces are failing to inform owners of their rights and/or refusing to release scooters. I believe this to be illegal: unlike a car, an e-scooter can be carried away and the police would thus seem to have no legal right to refuse returning it to the owner.