E-scooter crackdown sees crimes drop by third across county
- Credit: Cambridgeshire Police
The number of crimes involving e-scooters has dropped by nearly a third over the last 12 months.
Cambridgeshire Police found that between January and March, e-scooter offences across the county fell by 31 per cent compared to the same period last year.
The drop comes after police launched Operation Scoot to tackle the illegal use of electronic scooters on public highways, anti-social behaviour related to e-scooters and their theft.
PC Janine Hagger, of Cambridgeshire Police, said: “This operation focused on education rather than enforcement.
“We found many people did not know the law around using e-scooters, therefore we made it our objective to educate those people on what they can and can’t do, before enforcing the law and seizing the scooters.”
Between January and March, the number of e-scooter thefts declined by 69pc, while robbery relating to e-scooters fell by 86pc compared to the same time frame a year ago.
In October 2020, Cambridge was one of several areas in England chosen to host government-led trials involving e-scooters.
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Police say the trials, backed by former Cambridgeshire and Peterborough mayor James Palmer, have led to a rise in people buying e-scooters and using them on public paths and roads, which is currently illegal.
“This meant working with parents to ensure they understood the requirements for owning and using an e-scooter after we found children to be using them, therefore not holding a driving licence,” said PC Hagger.
“We also engaged with retailers selling e-scooters to ensure they were explaining the legal background behind them.”
Last month, police issued a reminder on the law around e-scooters after they stopped one user riding illegally in Littleport.
At the time, a police spokesperson said: “At present, an e-scooter cannot be ridden on a road or footpath.
“The only place that they can be used is on private land, with the land owner's permission.”
Cambridgeshire Police say officers will continue to carry out educational work in schools and retail outlets to help tackle illegal e-scooter use.
They added that they will “only consider enforcement action if it is proportionate and there is risk to public safety.”
For more information on e-scooter use, visit: https://bit.ly/3FLrqTW.