Police target nuisance cyclists and e-scooter riders in Southend city centre

The Southend Community Policing Team have been out on the High Street to educate the public and enforce the terms of a Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) after complaints about reckless cyclists and the illegal riding of e-scooters.

Southend-on-Sea City Council introduced the PSPO in 2019, and it was renewed last year to include two additional restrictions to allow fines to be issued to people cycling or using e-scooters in a way that has a negative effect or poses a risk to pedestrians.

New signage has been installed around Southend city centre and all routes onto the High Street clearly displaying that cycling and e-scooting on High Street and anywhere in the PSPO area is prohibited.

The cycling restrictions do not apply to police officers on duty.

Eleven officers from the Town Centre Team – including three on pedal cycles – were joined by five of the council’s Community Safety Officers, and two Business Improvement District (BID) Rangers to raise awareness that breaching the PSPO could land riders with a £100 Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN).

Over the course of an afternoon and evening, they stopped 19 people for breaching the PSPO, took their details and gave them warnings.

Three people were issued with FPNs after deciding to ignore requests to stop riding.

The activity forms part of Operation Community, a new initiative that will see significant numbers of officers taking part in days of action to combat issues raised by local people in every district across the county.

This enhanced engagement and crime prevention operation takes a proactive approach that emphasises listening to the local community, problem-solving, and investigating all concerns to achieve the best outcomes.

The first day of action saw more than 270 officers deployed to tackle issues including drug dealing, anti-social behaviour, theft, and speeding.

Sergeant Steve Wells of Southend CPT said the team had been successful in spreading the word about the terms of the PSPO and that the feedback from people on the High Street had been very encouraging.

“It’s clear that cycling and e-scooters in the pedestrianised areas of city centre have become a significant frustration for everyone. We’re aware of at least two incidents where young children have been knocked over by people on e-scooters.

“The new signage makes it clear what the rules are, but this operation was very much about engagement and educating people on the High Street about what they are allowed and not allowed to do.

“Our presence was very well received and there were numerous positive conversations and comments from members of the public.”

Mick Ferris

Editor Email: mickferris@yellowad.co.uk