Over 500 offences recorded in London over last year
E-scooters are increasingly prevalent in London
E-scooters were involved in more than 500 recorded crimes in London over the past year, according to data from the Met Police.
Between July 1, 2020 and April 30, 2021, there were 574 offences such as robberies or assaults carried out by people who were riding e-scooters at the time.
The data was revealed this week following a written question to the Mayor of London from Liberal Democrat member of the London Assembly Caroline Pidgeon.
In his response to the Lib Dem member, the Mayor of London also revealed that incidents involving e-scooters were “underreported”, but that “work continues” with the police to ensure that all incidents are addressed and recorded accurately.
With a trial of e-scooter rentals set to begin in several London boroughs from Monday 7 June, Caroline Pidgeon has warned that “e-scooters now offer an attractive option for some criminals”.
Ms Pidgeon said: “The e-scooter trial might offer an attractive new form of transport for some people, but we must never sacrifice the needs of pedestrians and especially disabled people. Avoiding clutter on our pavements and ensuring e-scooters are not ridden irresponsibly on our roads, let alone on our pavements, is absolutely vital.
“Another vital challenge is that just as motorbikes and mopeds have in the past been used by criminals, the speed and nimbleness of e-scooters now offer an attractive option for some criminals.
“Ensuring that crime committed by people using e-scooters is curbed is just another challenge that must be met.”
Crimes involving e-scooters peaked in August last year when there were 86 offences across London.
The borough of Westminster has seen the most offences involving e-scooters in the past year, with 76 recorded crimes, while Southwark has seen the second most with 41.
From Monday June 7, e-scooters will be available to rent and ride on a trial basis in Ealing, Canary Wharf, the City of London, Hammersmith and Fulham, Kensington and Chelsea and Richmond-upon-Thames.
The e-scooters will be limited to 12.5 miles per hour and will be fitted with safety mechanisms, while riders will have to complete an e-learning safety course before hiring.
The use of privately-owned e-scooters on pavements and roads is illegal in the UK and will remain so during the trial, with riders risking a £300 and six penalty points on their driving licence.
Joe Talora - Local Democracy Reporter
June 4, 2021