Over 100 e-scooters seized by police in West Midlands crackdown

More than 100 e-scooters have been seized by police across the West Midlands – as officers continue to crackdown on illegal riders across the region.

E-scooters seized by West Midlands Police
E-scooters seized by West Midlands Police

West Midlands Police took action in response to concerns raised by members of the public around users breaking the law and putting others at risk.

Between January and June this year, the force has seized 106 e-scooters, while an operation in Birmingham city centre on Monday saw officers seize a further 14.

In June alone, police seized six e-scooters in Wolverhampton, four in Sandwell, three in Dudley, and one in Walsall. Thirty-three were seized in Birmingham during June.

E-scooters are legally available to buy, but it is currently against the law to ride a privately owned one in any public place across the country – including roads, parks or pavements.

The only place a privately owned e-scooter can be used is on private land, with the land-owners’ permission.

VOI e-scooters being trialled in Sandwell, Birmingham and Coventry are legal but only to ride in places where people can ride bicycles, such as roads and cycle lanes. They cannot be ridden on pavements.

Shakur Pinnock with his mother Celine Fraser-Pinnock

Shakur Pinnock, aged 20, died after being involved in a crash involving a car and the private e-scooter he was riding in Prestwood Road, Wolverhampton in June.

His girlfriend, 19-year-old Chante Hoosang, was also seriously injured.

Mr Pinnock died at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham, six days after being left with critical injuries following the crash on June 12.

Campaigner Sarah Gayton, street access campaigns coordinator for the National Federation of the Blind of the UK, has asked anyone thinking of riding or buying an e-scooter "to think again” after incidents involving private and rented scooters.

Ms Gayton said the serious incidents were the "tip of the iceberg" and said both young and older people had suffered life-threatening injuries while riding e-scooters across the country.

Sergeant Jon Butler, from West Midlands Police's road harm prevention team, said: "The [VOI ] scheme being trialled has ensured there is an alternative and more environmentally-friendly way to travel.

"However, e-scooters can be very dangerous if people use them illegally and dangerously.

"We want people to feel safe in our towns and cities and we'll continue to take action against those who ignore the rules."

The West Midlands' assistant police and crime commissioner, Tom McNeil, added: "I am concerned the government has got itself in a mess with e-scooters. There doesn’t seem to be a consistent, clear message for people to follow.

"I am also concerned some retailers are turning a blind eye to the law and are selling expensive e-scooters without warning customers they can’t ride them on public roads.

"I would urge anyone who rents an e-scooter, as part of the trials taking place in our region, to do so safely, wearing a helmet and sticking to the roads and cycle lanes. Anyone who buys a private e-scooter should only ride it on private land with the owner’s permission.

"I’m grateful to West Midlands Police for taking tough action and for engaging with those riding them and educating them on the rules.

"I fully support looking at greener ways to travel around our towns and cities, but the government must ensure safety isn’t compromised."

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