Crackdown launched to target 'menace' of illegal e-scooter riders

Did you know it's illegal to ride an e-scooter in public? Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Suffolk police has launched an e-scooter crackdown in Ipswich - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

A month-long crackdown targeting e-scooters has been launched by police in Ipswich following an increase in their illegal use in the town. 

The campaign, which will run for the whole of August, has been fully backed by the county's police and crime commissioner, Tim Passmore, who said e-scooter riders were "becoming a menace on our roads and pavements". 

Police said the purpose of the crackdown is to highlight the current law around e-scooters as well as removing them from the roads and pavements where powers allow. 

Currently in the UK, it is legal to buy an e-scooter but they cannot be used on public roads, cycle lanes or on pavements. 

The only place e-scooters can be used legally is on private land. 

Mr Passmore said: "E-scooter riders are becoming a menace on our roads and pavements.

"I have had several complaints from Suffolk residents worried for their safety when they’re out and about, particularly when the e-scooters are used on pavements in our towns.   

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"Riders must be aware they can only use their e-scooters on private land, they must not be used on public spaces or on our roads.

"I fully support the constabulary’s campaign to highlight this issue, those ignoring the law and causing dangers for other road users and pedestrians will be fined if they are caught.”

Tim Passmore, Suffolk Police and Crime Commissioner,is frustrated at the failure of the Maple Park b

Suffolk PCC Tim Passmore said he has received "several complaints" about e-scooter use - Credit: Archant

Officers are keen to educate owners and riders but will take enforcement action, especially where there is evidence of anti-social behaviour, persistent use, or wider criminality, Suffolk police said. 

As part of regular patrols, police will also visit retailers to advise staff of the legal requirements and ask them to remind customers of the risk of potential enforcement action if they are used inappropriately.

Fines for riding an e-scooter on public land can include a Fixed Penalty Notice for no insurance, with a £300 fine and six penalty points, a Fixed Penalty Notice for no driving licence, and up to £100 fine and three to six penalty points.

Other offences which may result in penalties include riding on the footpath, using a mobile phone, riding through red lights and drink driving offences.

The campaign will focus on the policing area of Ipswich, Woodbridge, Felixstowe and Hadleigh. 

Sergeant Ben Towns, from Ipswich west and Hadleigh safer neighbourhood team, said: "It is important that riders understand the legislation that governs the use of e-scooters.

"There has been an increase in the profile and the use of e-scooters in Ipswich and other towns and cities across the country. 

"We’re not trying to target young people, but it is important to understand people could put themselves or others at risk if the e-scooter is being used in a dangerous manner. 

"E-scooters are treated as motor vehicles by the Department for Transport and are subject to the same legal requirement as other vehicles, such as MOT, licencing, tax and insurance.

"Because they don’t always have number plates, signalling ability or visible rear lights, they cannot be used legally on the roads.”