Bedfordshire’s police and crime commissioner has asked the county’s parents not to buy e-scooters this Christmas.
This follows the release of government figures showing that there were 29 reported casualties involving e-scooters in Bedfordshire in the year ending June 2023.
“If only one person was injured that is still one too many,” Festus Akinbusoye, the police and crime commissioner (PCC) told the Local Democracy Reporting Service.
“The way that some of these are used on our roads is frightening, and I get reports of this all the time.
“I can take [anyone] into the storage place either [at Headquarters] or in Luton and you see how many of these e-scooters have been seized by Bedfordshire Police.
“The message I want to get to parents, especially coming to Christmas, is don’t buy these for your children.
“They are against the law in Bedfordshire to use [on public land],” the PCC said.
“They can only be used on private land with the authorisation of the landowner, or they can only be also be used in areas where they are part of a trial, such as in London or Milton Keynes.
“Nowhere in Bedfordshire is part of the e-scooter trials, so no one should be using e-scooters on the streets anywhere in Bedfordshire at all.
“The force will be carrying on doing their best to educate and enforce where possible, and I’ve raised this with the chief constable several times,” he said.
The PCC said the chief constable has said that the force doesn’t want to be too “heavy-handed” when dealing with e-scooters.
“If the police were to seize every single one or stop every single person, they would not do any other job – there are that many of them around,” said Mr Akinbusoye.
“So my message is, please, we don’t want to see any more casualties on our roads from e-scooters or for any reason.
“Please don’t buy e-scooters for your children for Christmas; they’re against the law for use in Bedfordshire.
“So please, please, don’t buy them for your children or for anyone for that matter,” he said.
The government casualty report said e-scooters are not a designated vehicle type so the data relies on police forces adding “e-scooter” as a note on a report form.
by John Guinn
Local Democracy Reporter