Hundreds of reported crimes linked to e-scooters in Bristol

A stock image of a police officer speaking to someone on an e-scooter.

Hundreds of police incidents involving people on electric scooters have been recorded in Bristol.

Avon and Somerset Police logged 237 cases in Bristol between December 2020 and March of this year which were in some way linked to e-scooters.

This included crimes where the suspect was riding an e-scooter, thefts of e-scooters, and collisions involving e-scooters that have been reported to the police.

Almost all of the cases in Bristol related to privately-owned scooters, which are still illegal to ride in public despite their widespread use.

However, nine incidents were specifically related to the ongoing Voi e-scooter trial, although the force did not break down the specific categories for these.

During February and March, after the trial was rolled out beyond the city's boundary, there were a further eight trial-related incidents reported in South Gloucestershire.

The force's figures were published on its website in response to a recent freedom of information (FOI) request from a member of the public.

However, it advised the data should be interpreted with caution, as it includes all records where an e-scooter is mentioned.

If the key word ‘e-scooter’ was not mentioned in the crime report, the incident will not have been included in the data.

The force's response explains: "For the majority of incidents captured, e-scooters are simply mentioned within the crime log rather than the focus of (or reason for) the offence.

"For example, an offender may have committed assault and was recorded exiting the scene on an e-scooter.

"The data is therefore not necessarily reflective of e-scooter incidents, but capture those incidents where an e-scooter was involved in any capacity."

More than 20 thefts of e-scooters were reported within the four-month period covered.

A further four incidents were listed as being drugs-related, and one was logged as "driving under the influence"

A spokesperson for Voi said: "The vast majority of incidents involve privately-owned e-scooters and not rental scooters.

"At Voi, we are against all acts of vandalism and antisocial behaviour, and if they arise, we report them to Avon and Somerset Police.

"Voi has a three strike policy - if the user does not comply with our e-scooter regulations, they can have their account blocked and won’t be able to ride a Voi scooter again."

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