E-scooter riders sent warning as two arrests made in Sussex - 'Don’t put them on your Christmas wish list'

“Be warned — your e-scooter can be seized and you can be fined or may injure yourself or someone else so don’t put them on your Christmas wish list.”

Tuesday, 16th November 2021, 2:03 pm
Updated Tuesday, 16th November 2021, 2:13 pm

That was the message from Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner Katy Bourne, as the force issued renewed advice to e-scooter riders about how they face arrest and prosecution if they use the powered vehicles in public.

Police said there is increased public concern about road safety with reports of e-scooters riding on pavements, and 'frequent crime reports linked to e-scooters'.

Offenders have been arrested following incidents in Eastbourne in East Sussex and, more recently, Littlehampton in West Sussex.

Police said there is increased public concern about road safety with reports of e-scooters riding on pavements, and 'frequent crime reports linked to e-scooters'.

Following the incident in Eastbourne, chief inspector Michael Hodder said: “Riders are subject to the same laws a motorist would need to drive lawfully on the road, including the requirement to have a valid licence, insurance, registration plates and vehicle licensing, and to have the correct registration.

“E-scooters are illegal because there are currently no legal ways to register, insure or tax them.

“Section 59 of the Police Reform Act allows police to give road users a warning if they are reported to have used their vehicle in a manner which causes alarm, distress or annoyance.

“Meanwhile Section 165 of the Road Traffic Act gives police the power to seize vehicles. So please make sure you keep and use your e-scooter on private land, with the owner’s permission, to ensure this does not happen to you."

Chief inspector Hodder said officers have continued to see the 'repeated unlawful use of e-scooters', despite 'plenty of warnings'.

He said the police will now be looking to seize electric scooters and prosecute riders.

"While education and advice have been the preferred options for our officers when speaking to the public, we are keen to draw a line," he added.

"“E-scooters are becoming more widely available to purchase, and although it is illegal to ride a privately purchased e-scooter in public, they are not illegal to purchase. Many people may be considering buying one as a gift for Christmas.

“We want to inform people and encourage members of the public to act responsibly, follow guidance, and keep within the law.”

Police warned e-scooter riders to expect further enforcement this month, with officers carrying out proactive patrols as part of planned days of action on the issue.

Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner Katy Bourne said: “Whilst I am a big supporter of more environmentally friendly transport solutions, we need to make it clear that e-scooters cannot legally be used in public spaces in Sussex.

“I have heard from many residents, including elderly people, who have been menaced and injured by irresponsible e-scooter riders.

“From police experience it seems that people who are prepared to break the law with no insurance or a valid licence are using e-scooters in drug dealing and other criminal activity which makes them a visible target for officers."