Agenda item

Nuisance Vehicles - E-scooter, quad-bikes/mini-motos and irresponsible cycling


The Chair advised that Cllr Sangha and Cllr Aslam had requested the item to be brought to the Committee; the Chair had agreed that Cllr Sangha would be invited to address the Committee following the Acting CSU Inspector, Kent Police.


The Acting CSU Inspector, Kent Police addressed the Committee and gave a detailed presentation on nuisance caused by E-Scooters, what the Police were doing to combat the issue and several cases where a successful prosecution had been made. Some of the key points made to Members were:


  • E-Scooters were classified as vehicles and in order to drive them on the road, the user needed a driver’s licence, MOT, and insurance; if they did not have those things, they were only permitted to drive them on private land. No insurers would insure a scooter and there were currently only a few areas in London and Canterbury where E-Scooters schemes were being trialled by the local authorities
  • There were a variety of different users; there were the youths that were riding them dangerously but there were also commuters who used them to be greener and some found them convenient instead of using a car to get to work or the train station. There was a lack of public awareness that E-Scooters were illegal to use on the road and that is why officers initial approach was to inform users when they were stopped the first time with a talk and a leaflet.
  • Kent Police had an officer in place that was dedicated to deal with the problem of E-Scooters, and they had been working on a detailed plan to tackle the issue; that detailed plan would be shared with the CSU team once it was completed
  • A database had been created which was in its infant stages but could be accessed by all North Kent Police Officers; every time an E-Scooter driver was stopped their details would be inputted into the system and given their first warnings. If they were stopped a second time, then they would receive a section 59 warning and a third stop would mean that their E-Scooter was seized under Section 59. The officers could also summon the drivers to court for having no insurance; the leaflet that was being used had been forwarded to the CSU team and would be included in the next edition of the ‘Your Borough’ magazine
  • Youths on the E-Scooters were difficult to catch; they had no recognisable plates and would often mount the kerb or drive down alleys to escape officers. The E-Scooters could reach speeds of 20-30 mph and officers were not able to pursue them in a tactical pursuit using Police vehicles as it would be too dangerous
  • It was likely that one day more schemes would be rolled out to other areas trialling the E-Scooters with proper checks as it was greener and would remove a number of vehicles off the road but currently the Police were treating it as the illegal issue it was


The Acting CSU Inspector, Kent Police gave a brief summary to the Committee on Kent Police’s plans to deal with off-road motorcycles:


  • There was a rural team in place which consisted of two PCSO’s and another officer was returning to the team specifically to deal with anti-social behaviour in the rural areas of North Kent. A sergeant from the Maidstone Rural Task Force had also agreed to provide assistance to the rural team in the summer as the special constable embargo during Covid had been lifted 
  • The Specials Inspector had advised the Acting CSU Inspector, Kent Police that there were fourteen Special officers who were freshly trained and ready to be made available which would greatly assist the rural team in the summer
  • Community Protection Orders had been looked into for the landowners that were not adequately protecting their land and relying too much on the Police
  • Operation Gurkha is targeting nuisance motorbikes and anti-social behaviour will be run every two weeks to keep the pressure on and force the motorbike users to move on from the affected areas or stop entirely. The community would be engaged with better, mobile numbers for officers working in the area had been given to Parish Councils so that they could report any crimes directly which meant a much faster response time
  • Footfall had skyrocketed in the Town Centre since restrictions had been lifted but that also meant cases of theft had also risen although there hadn’t been too much trouble from the pubs reopening. The team were constantly aware of the announcements made by the Prime Minister and were adapting all the time; resources and measures were being moved into place in light of the Government’s Roadmap. For example, if pubs were breaking the rules, then Kent Police would look to get publicans licences revoked and drug dogs and the British Transport Police would be stationed at the train station to deter county lines dug dealing


The Chair thanked the officer for his detailed presentation and was encouraged to hear the fourteen officers that would be made available to assist the Rural Policing Team.


Cllr Sangha addressed the Committee and outlined his reasons for being against the E-Scooters and gave numerous examples of the nuisances they caused in his ward and the wider Borough:


  • Cllr Sangha explained the risks the E-Scooters caused to the general public as well as to the drivers and passengers themselves; Cllr Sangha cited a number of occasions where he had seen drivers with too many passengers, some as young as babies, no safety equipment or who were heavily overloaded and had the potential to cause major accidents on the pavements/roads
  • They posed a risk to the public and Cllr Sangha had received many complaints from residents in his ward concerned about users driving them through pedestrianised zones at fast speeds or driving dangerously doing wheelies etc
  • A Strategy needed to be created that focused on education, advice, and enforcement with actual targets to reach in order to stop youths driving dangerous and raising awareness of the illegality of E-Scooters


Cllr Sullivan asked to meet with the Acting CSU Inspector, Kent Police outside of the meeting to discuss community policing and how it could benefit her ward.


The Committee echoed the comments around engaging with the urban and rural communities equally and raising awareness as well as sharing cases where nuisance bikers had affected their wards.


In response to a Members question, the Chair welcomed that the raising awareness leaflet would be included in the ‘Your Borough’ magazine.


Cllr Rana asked that his thanks be noted for the PCSO’s in Whitehill and Singlewell as they had cracked down on petty theft and crime leading to the crime rate dropping in the area.


The Chair queried if there was any way of using a DNA spray on stopped scooters which could be used to identify them in later stops.


The Acting CSU Inspector, Kent Police explained that he wasn’t aware of any such spray and advised that the stop was always based on the driver rather than the vehicle.