Thieves using e-scooters in assaults and even shootings as cops reveal HUNDREDS of crimes – while sales boom

THIEVES are using e-scooters in terrifying crimes including assaults and shootings, new police data has revealed – but sales are still booming.

The electric scooters have been used as getaway vehicles as well as in robberies across the country. 

Despite the rise in e-scooter crimes, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has proclaimed the devices as part of a "transport revolution" as emerging technologies are “ripping up the rulebook”.

He went on: “This review will ensure we understand the potential impacts of a wide range of new transport types such as e-scooters.”

Last year Shapps fast-tracked their legalisation for trials across 32 areas in UK.

In the areas where the trials have been launched, there has been a significant number of crimes reported involving the devices.

According to an investigation by the Daily Mail, Scotland Yard recorded more than 200 incidents last year in London.

It was the highest of any force that had responded to the Mail's investigation.

During that time the Met Police seized more than 150 e-scooters.

Last Friday 14-year-old Fares Maatou was stabbed outside of a pizza restaurant in East London for his electric scooter.

His friend says the teenage victim stepped in to protect him during a row before he was stabbed to death on the busy road.

The "kind" teen was also hit over the head with a metal pole as the thugs stole his electric scooter, according to witnesses.

Meanwhile in Norfolk, police recorded more than 120 incidents involving e-scooters in 2020.

One incident included an electric scooter pulling a small trailer on a main road and "swerving from side to side".

Merseyside Police recorded more than 100 incidents last year with 94 devices having been seized this year alone.

In March six-year-old Jamie Smith was left with a fractured skull after being mowed down by an e-scooter.

The boy was out walking with his dad in Elston Fields, Leicester, when the scooter smashed into him in a hit-and-run.

The e-scooter's 17-year-old owner then rode off – leaving Jamie with a fractured skull and multiple cuts and bruises in August last year.

Derbyshire Police recorded 27 incidents last year, Staffordshire filed 23 and Cleveland Police recorded 81.

Last night, campaigners called on ministers to toughen up the rules of private sales of e-scooters as individuals can purchase them from shops or online.

As of now it is illegal to use a private e-scooter in public.

During the pandemic, retailers reported a boom in sales of e-scooters with prices for the devices ranging from £350 to £1,000.

Speeds on e-scooters are capped at 15.5mph however they can be modified to go as fast as 70mph.

Current e-scooter rules in Britain

The Government is running several trials across the UK for e-scooters to which the below rules apply.

To use a rental e-scooter you must have the category Q entitlement on your driving licence – a full licence includes this category.

If you are on a provisional licence you do not need to show your L plates.

You must trial an e-scooter on the road (except motorways) and in cycle lanes.

The devices are not allowed on pavements.

Only one person is allowed to use an e-scooter at a time.

The maximum speed for an e-scooter is 15.5mph.

E-scooters must only be used within the local area that is hosting the trial.

For a list of the trial areas, click here.

However, the rules for private e-scooters remain the same.

It is against the law to use a privately owned e-scooter in public.

If you use one you could face a fine, penalty points and have your device impounded.

The vast majority of the alleged crimes committed on e-scooters are thought to involved privately owned devices.

Director of the Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety, David Davies, told the Mail that the lobby group had written to roads minister Rachel Maclean calling for tighter regulations on e-scooters.

"We have an interim situation where the Department for Transport is monitoring trials, meanwhile people are buying them hand over fist in shops and clearly using them and we don't feel retailers are necessarily being responsible," he said.

"The restrictions are not tough enough on sale as there's no regulation at all."

A spokesperson for the Guide Dogs charity said that the electric scooters were causing blind people to be fearful of going out on the streets.

"People are increasingly encountering scooters on pedestrian pathways and blind people have to navigate using their hearing so it's a huge problem for them," he said.

"With their power and speed, people are scared and fearful of going out on the streets."

In January Kyah Jordan became the first in Britain to be convicted of drink driving on an e-scooter after almost hitting a police car.

Following that, a 65-year-old man was rushed to hospital with serious injuries after he was mowed down by an e-scooter in Rochdale.

The Department for Transport said it was aware of the "minority of instances where e-scooters have been misused"

The DfT also said that the feedback about the trials will "inform the need for any future regulation of them".

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