Here are the top 10 areas in Northampton where police have seized ILLEGAL e-scooters – and the shocking reasons why

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Here are the top 10 areas where police have seized ILLEGAL e-scooters in and around Northampton – and the shocking reasons why.

Northamptonshire Police have been cracking down on people who ride private e-scooters in public places by seizing the vehicles and crushing them.

Data from a Freedom of Information requested submitted by this newspaper reveals that a total of 170 e-scooters were seized by Northamptonshire Police across the whole of the county between 2021 and 2024.

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Privately owned e-scooters are not currently allowed to be ridden on public roads, cycle lanes or pavements. They can only be ridden on private land, as they are classified as Personal Light Electric Vehicles (PLEVs) and are subject to all the same legal requirements as other vehicles. Rentable e-scooters – run by Voi in Northamptonshire – are legal to ride on roads because they are insured.

Police recently released footage of what could happen to your private e-scooter if you are caught riding it on a public road.Police recently released footage of what could happen to your private e-scooter if you are caught riding it on a public road.
Police recently released footage of what could happen to your private e-scooter if you are caught riding it on a public road.

A breakdown of the data over the four-year period reveals a significant majority of seizures are attributed to lack of insurance and a smaller number resulting from road traffic incidents, anti-social behaviour, and criminal activity.

According to the data, the main reasons for seizure across the whole of Northamptonshire were:

2021:

No insurance: 23

Obstruction: Two

Road traffic collision: Three

Road traffic regulation act: Two

Section 59 seizure (refers to vehicles being used in a manner which causes alarm, distress or annoyance): Three

Stolen/abandoned: One

Used in crime: One

2022:

No insurance: 60

Road traffic collision: Four

Section 59 seizure: Four

2023:

No insurance: 45

Used in crime: Three

Section 59 seizure: One

2024:

No insurance: 11

Road traffic collision: One

Used in crime: Four

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In Northampton, specifically, the total number of private e-scooters seized in the past four years stands at 72 as of June 1 2024.

The most common locations for seizures in Northampton are:

Northampton Town Centre (18 seizures)

Castle (9 seizures)

St Crispin (9 seizures)

Boughton Green (5 seizures)

Nene Valley (4 seizures)

Spencer (4 seizures)

Weston (4 seizures)

Grange Park (3 seizures)

St Davids (3 seizures)

Kingsley (2 seizures)

Lumbertubs (2 seizures)

Abington (2 seizures)

Delapre (1 seizure)

East Hunsbury (1 seizure)

Ecton Brook (1 seizure)

Billing (1 seizure)

New Duston (1 seizure)

Safer Roads Team Manager Matt O’Connell previously said: “I would urge anyone thinking of buying one to reconsider and if you are caught riding one you could face points on your license, a fine, and the chance of your vehicle being seized and crushed.”

Responding to a series of question from this newspaper, Northamptonshire Police said: “We regularly promote the law around private e-scooter use and we have also written letters to schools about the issue which gets shared with parents. This is alongside the mandatory signage that retailers are obliged to display advising potential purchasers of the restrictions of use. We have also written a letter to these retailers to encourage them to make potential purchasers aware.

"The seizing and processing of e-scooters is undertaken by external recovery agents, as such there is very little impact on officers’ time.”

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Police were asked about how the seizure and disposal of e-scooters align with broader goals of promoting sustainable and eco-friendly transportation options.

A police spokeswoman said: “Our role as the police is to enforce the law and the use of privately owned e-scooters on the roads and footpaths of Northamptonshire is not legal at the present time.”

West Northants Council was asked why there has been limited investment in infrastructure, such as dedicated e-scooter lanes and if there are any plans to work with insurance companies to create affordable options for insuring private e-scooters

.A council spokeswoman said: “Privately owned e-scooters are not permitted on the highway, therefore would not access e-scooter lanes. VOI provide insurance for their e-scooters.”