Schools in Essex contacted as police launch e-scooter crackdown

Sean McPeake was sentenced for driving an e-scooter while over the drink-drive limit in Sudbury Pict

Essex Police has launched an initiative aimed at e-scooter riders - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

E-scooter riders in Essex are being warned by police to know the law in a bid to reduce the number being illegally used in the county. 

Riding privately-owned e-scooters, outside of government-approved trials, is currently an offence on public land.

Launching a initiative on Monday, Essex Police said it wants to educate owners about current legislation but stressed the force will take enforcement action where there is evidence of anti-social behaviour or wider criminality. 

The force, which has written to schools to raise awareness, said it must ensure that private e-scooter owners "do not pose a risk to the public or themselves due to their presence on public highways and pavements".

Superintendent Sam Smith, who is leading the initiative, said the force wants to get the message to parents who are thinking of buying their child an e-scooter. 

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"We have written to schools recently and asked them to raise awareness with parents about the laws surrounding private e-scooters," he said. 

"Private e-scooters are permitted in law only to be used on private land, and are illegal if used on public land and we need to raise awareness of this legislation for everyone’s safety.

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“We’re not trying to target young people, but we need them to know that there are aspects to riding an e-scooter that could put them, or the wider public, at risk if the e-scooter is being ridden in a dangerous manner," he said. 

“Privately owned e-scooters cannot be insured as they are not roadworthy and, therefore, they present a danger to the rider and the rest of the public.”

Over the next few weeks, when police stop any young person riding a privately-owned e-scooter, officers will speak to their parents to raise awareness of the law, the force added. 

“We are aware that e-scooters are also used by adults who use them as a means of leisure and transport, but we will stop and speak to them too," Supt Smith said. 

"We want to keep people safe and continue to deal with reports of e-scooters being involved in crime. 

“Where there is persistent use of privately-owned e-scooters, or evidence of other offences, we will take appropriate enforcement action. This includes e-scooter seizure and riders being reported for driving offences.”

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