How different UK POLICE FORCES police ELECTRIC SCOOTERS DIFFERENTLY

REVEALING THE DIFFERENCE IN POLICING OF E-SCOOTERS IN THE UK

Written by Ed Wiles, Scootered Founder

After the tragic death of YouTuber Emily Hartridge, when she collided with a lorry while riding an e-scooter in London in July 2019 (at a roundabout where a cyclist has also been killed), the government announced a crackdown on e-scooters. You would hope the police have better things to do (like prosecuting shoplifters and burglars), but just how many e-scooter riders have found themselves at the wrong end of the law? To find out, I made FOI requests in August 2019 to all the UK police forces for data on fines and seizures handed or carried out for riding e-scooters during 2019 and for the month following the announced crackdown (to August 16th).


Below are the results. So far, 29 forces have provided (at least some) data. I have appealed all those who have not but may not gain any further data. Of those 29, only the two London police forces - and possibly Norfolk - have taken any action; with two of these three having seized one e-scooter each up to mid-August 2019. The Metropolitan Police seized 15 e-scooters up to August (all of them in the two weeks after Ms Hartridge's death). They have not given me definitive numbers on the month followering the announced crackdown but stated that only seven e-scooters were seized for the whole of August and just two in the first half of September. The London police forces also verbally warned more riders (not listed as most police forces do not record verbal warnings), suggesting riders who had their e-scooters confiscated were doing something aggravating (such as riding on the pavement or jumping red lights) to warrant it.

Read more about the law on e-scooters.


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 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. And the best way to avoid having your e-scooter confiscated in the first place seems to be to avoid doing anything "aggravating": the Met Police have stated that there would need to be aggravating circumstances for them to confiscate your e-scooter (though I have heard claims to the contrary).




Police Force

Fines
2019/Jul-Aug

Confiscations
2019/Jul-Aug

Total
2019/Jul-Aug

Avon & Somerset

Bedfordshire

0 / 0

0 / 0

0 / 0

Cambridgeshire

0 / 0

0 / 0

0 / 0

Cheshire Constabulary

City of London Police

0 / 0

1 / 1

1 / 1

Cleveland Police

UNAVAILABLE 0 / 0 UNAVAILABLE

Cumbria

Derbyshire Constabulary

UNAVAILABLE

0 / 0

UNAVAILABLE

Devon & Cornwall Police

0 / 0

0 / 0

0 / 0

Dorset Police

0 / 0

0 / 0

0 / 0

Durham Constabulary

Essex Police

UNAVAILABLE

0 / 0

UNAVAILABLE

Gloucestershire Constabulary

Greater Manchester

Gwent Police

0 / 0

0 / 0

0 / 0

Hampshire Constabulary

Hertfordshire

0 / 0

0 / 0

0 / 0

Humberside Police

0 / 0

0 / 0

0 / 0

Kent Police

0 / 0

0 / 0

0 / 0

Lancashire Constabulary

Leicestershire Police

0 / 0

0 / 0

0 / 0

Lincolnshire Police

0 / 0

0 / 0

0 / 0

Merseyside

Metropolitan Police Service

UNAVAILABLE

15 / UNAVAILABLE

UNAVAILABLE

Norfolk Constabulary

0 / 0

1 / 0 *

1 / 0

North Wales Police

0 / 0

0 / 0

0 / 0

North Yorkshire

Northamptonshire

0 / 0

0 / 0

0 / 0

Northumbria Police

Nottinghamshire Police

UNAVAILABLE UNAVAILABLE UNAVAILABLE

Police Scotland

South Yorkshire

0 / 0

UNAVAILABLE UNAVAILABLE

South Wales Police

0 / 0

0 / 0

0 / 0

Staffordshire

0 / 0

0 / 0

0 / 0

Suffolk Constabulary

0 / 0

0 / 0

0 / 0

Surrey Police

0 / 0

0 / 0

0 / 0

Sussex Police

0 / 0

0 / 0

0 / 0

Thames Valley

UNAVAILABLE

0 / 0

UNAVAILABLE

Warwickshire Police

UNAVAILABLE

0 / 0

UNAVAILABLE

West Mercia Police

UNAVAILABLE

0 / 0

UNAVAILABLE

West Midlands Police

0 / 0

UNAVAILABLE

UNAVAILABLE

West Yorkshire Police **

0 / 0

UNAVAILABLE

UNAVAILABLE

Wiltshire Police

0 / 0

0 / 0

0 / 0

       
       

* Norfolk reported an "adapted child's scooter" being seized for not having insurance. I have to assume they mean an e-scooter.


** West Yorkshire Police recorded two seizures of "electric scooters" but closer inspection revealed one was not in fact an e-scooter, but an electric bicycle with its pedals missing, meaning that neither of the reported "seizures" could be considered reliable.


XIAOMI M365

Segway es2