ALMOST 50 e-scooters were confiscated and destroyed by police in Dorset in 2021 - an increase of 840 per cent on the previous year - as their popularity continues to surge, new figures have revealed.

A Freedom of Information request sent by the Echo found that Dorset Police seized and disposed of 47 e-scooters being used illegally in the county, up from five in 2020.

Currently, using a privately-owned e-scooter on public land or on private land without permission, is illegal in the UK and using one while in breach of the rules can lead to a hefty fine, penalty points or even a disqualification from driving.

Police Inspector Craig Tatton, of the traffic unit, said: “E-scooters have grown in popularity, particularly during the past year and more people are now riding privately-owned e-scooters.

“It still remains illegal to ride a privately owned e-scooter on any public land, including pavements, roads and promenades.

“Officers will continue to approach those riding an e-scooter on public land and inform them of the law.

“They will take down the details of the riders and explain where and how e-scooters can be used.”

Last week a 13-year-old boy was stopped by police for riding along a 70mph dual carriageway on an e-scooter on the A30 near Sherborne on the Babylon Hill dual carriageway during poor weather conditions.

Towards the end of December a man from Bournemouth was prosecuted at Weymouth Magistrates Court for using an e-scooter on a road or public place without third party insurance - one of the first cases of its kind in the county.

As a result the defendant was fined £660, ordered to pay a surcharge of £66, costs of £110 and had six penalty points added to his driving licence.

Police warn that if you are ‘caught using an e-scooter on a public road, pavement, or other prohibited space you are committing a criminal offence and could be prosecuted’.

Currently the government is running rental trials across the UK, including Bournemouth, and these are the only e-scooters permitted for use on public land.

Police Inspector Craig Tatton added: “If you are using your e-scooter on public land, you should stop doing so immediately.

“Your e-scooter could be seized, and you could be liable for prosecution for traffic offences.”


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