Illegal E scooters are causing fires says Kent’s PCC
The number of fires caused by electronic scooters has trebled over the last year, according to research by Kent’s Police and Crime Commissioner.
Under the Freedom of Information Act, Matthew Scott asked Fire Services across England and Wales how many incidents they’d attended where e scooters were believed to be the cause.
33 Fire Services responded. In 2020 they went to 33 fires, where e scooters were the cause. In 2021, they attended 95.
Last year, the London Fire Service went to 28 fires where e scooters were responsible, double the number from the year before. In Surrey, fire crews were called out 10 times, compared to 5 times the year before. In South Wales, there were 6 cases last year, compared to one in 2020. (Kent saw two fires in two years.)
On top of that, some fire crews were called out when electronic scooters had been set on fire deliberately.
Kent’s PCC, Matthew Scott, who is also a member of the Kent Fire and Rescue Authority says
“E scooters aren’t just unsafe on our roads, they are causing danger in people’s properties too. This is why we need urgent action from the Government to stop the sale of private e scooters. They are placing extra demands on our fire and rescue services to attend incidents where they are catching fire and doing damage to people’s homes. They are also diverting the police away from crime and antisocial behaviour, because more enforcement is required to keep our roads safe.
“Remember – privately owned e scooters are not legal on our roads. Kent Police and other Forces are being proactive in seizing them. Don’t put yourself in harm’s way. Don’t waste the money. Don’t buy e scooters.”
The issue was also raised in the House of Lords yesterday morning, when Lord Berkeley asked Lord Callanan (the Under-Secretary of State for the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) why pro-active checks were not made on the imported cheap lithium batteries used by many e scooters, as happens in Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany.
“One manufacturer told me, and I quote, ‘Unless we can prove that a product has caused serious accidental injuries, there is no priority for trading standards to do any pro-active checks.’ But is the answer not to do pro-active checks and stop these illegal imports causing fires?”
Note to editors:
Matthew Scott has been Kent’s Police and Crime Commissioner since 2016.
He is also a member of Kent’s Fire and Rescue Authority.
Attached is the table outlining e scooter fires across the country.
The exchange in the House of Lords was at 11:15am Thursday 3rd March. Lord Berkeley (Lab) questioned Lord Callanan (Cons) the Parliamentary Under-Secretary for the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.
Lord Callanan responded that safety checks on imported products are vital and that checks are carried out on a risk-based approach where required.
He added that the Department of Transport continues to review the use and regulation of electronic scooters.