Thames Valley Police chief says officers won’t chase e-scooter riders
Thames Valley Police launched its crackdown on e-scooters before Christmas, with a campaign warning people that they’re illegal to drive on roads and pavements. Now chief constable Jason Hogg has said officers will start to confiscate and prosecute users or their parents. But he said officers ‘cannot pursue’ people who escape without a helmet after two deaths during police chases in South Wales and Greater Manchester last year.
Mr Hogg said: “The problem is when we have a young person or anybody on an e-scooter who makes off from the police without a helmet, we cannot pursue them. “There are two cases across the country where police officers are being investigated for manslaughter for trying to do their job effectively by getting some children who were on e-scooters. “I’m not prepared to put my officers in that position where we do that so they can get away from us quite easily.”
Mr Hogg previously pointed to two cases in Ely, South Wales and Salford, Greater Manchester, when he announced the crackdown at a meeting of Wokingham Borough Council in November last year. Two teenagers Kyrees Sullivan and Harvey Evans died in an e-bike crash while being chased by police in Ely, South Wales, in May 2023. Another teenager Saul Cookson also died in an e-bike crash while being chased by police in Salford, Greater Manchester, in June.
Mr Hogg confirmed officers would be cautious when he updated Bracknell Forest Council on the crackdown on Wednesday, January 10. But he added that Thames Valley Police is bringing in an ‘off-road motorcycle team’ to catch e-scooter riders ‘safely.’ He said: “We’ve just launched a new off-road motorcycle team who can follow e-scooters in effect and there will be some cases where we can do so proportionately and grab them shall we say in a safe way.
But tactically it is quite a challenge for us if people try to make off.” Mr Hogg also said the ‘enforcement phase’ would involve prosecuting parents of children riding e-scooters. E-scooters are effectively illegal to drive in public because it is not possible to get vehicle insurance for them.
Mr Hogg said this meant parents could be prosecuted ‘for use, cause, permit for no insurance.’ This is because the law says it is illegal to ’cause or permit’ another person to drive on the road without insurance.
- ^ launched its crackdown on e-scooters before Christmas (www.bracknellnews.co.uk)