How LONDON POLICE FORCES police ELECTRIC SCOOTERS

THE TRUTH ABOUT THE POLICING OF E-SCOOTERS IN LONDON


Key Points
  • Only London police forces known to take action.
  • Publicity exaggerated scale of crackdown.

  • Introduction

    After the tragic death of Emily Hartridge, when she collided with a truck while riding an e-scooter in London in July 2019, the government announced a crackdown on e-scooters. Ed Wiles, the founder of Scootered, made FOI requests to all the police forces in the UK in August 2019 and again in January 2020. He discored that only the two London police forces took any real notice of the announced crackdown. However, they then exagerrated the extent of the confiscations taking place with their social media posts (if you saw them at the time you would been forgiven for thinking that they were taking dozens of scooters away on a weekly basis). The table is being updated.


    What is an e-Scooter?

    It is worth defining what we mean by "e-scooters" here as there remains some confusion. E-scooters (or electric scooters) are those such as the Xiaomi M365 or Segeway ES2 and hired by the likes of Lime and Bird. Of course, much of the confusion stems from mopeds also being called scooters - and were a moped battery powered it would be reasonable to call it an "electric scooter".


    Results
    Of those to respond to the FOI, only the two London police forces - and possibly Norfolk - had taken any action. The Metropolitan Police seized 54 e-scooters in the whole 2019 (twenty-five of them in the two weeks after Ms Hartridge's death). The number of e-scooters confiscated from September has averaged less than one a week (eg in December, they confidcated just three scooters). City of London Police confiscated 12 electric scooters in 2019. An estimated one million people work in the City, and, with only one confiscation in December 2019, one could infer that both London police forces have now refocused their attention on other "offenses". The London police forces also verbally warned more riders (most police forces do not record these), suggesting riders who had scooters confiscated were doing something aggravating to warrant it.

    Read more about the law on e-scooters.


    Confiscations By Each Police Force


    Police Force

    Fines
    Jan-Aug 2019

    Confiscations
    Jan-Aug 2019

    Fines
    2019

    Confiscations
    2019

    City of London Police

    0

    1

    0 12

    Metropolitan Police Service

    UNAVAILABLE

    25

    UNAVAILABLE

    54


    Confiscations By Metropolitan Police Per Month

    Month (2019)

    Confiscations

    June 0

    July

    25

    August

    14

    September

    3

    October

    5

    November

    4

    December

    3


    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 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).



    XIAOMI M365

    Segway es2