Our Community Safety team and The Southend Community Policing Team will be in Southend city centre on 25 May to educate the public about the dangers of e-scooters and cycling on Southend High Street.
After many complaints about reckless cyclists and the illegal riding of e-scooters on and around the High Street, which can be intimidating for some people and also very dangerous, the joint operation will also be used to enforce the terms of a Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) to keep everyone safe.
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 also been installed around Southend city centre and all routes onto the High Street notifying people that cycling and e-scooting on the High Street and anywhere in the PSPO area is prohibited.
Cllr James Courtenay, cabinet member for community safety and public protection, said: “It’s clear that cycling and e-scooters in the pedestrianised areas of our city centre have become a significant frustration and a genuine worry for many people. 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 is very much about engagement and educating people on the High Street about what they are allowed and not allowed to do. When we implement PSPOs across the city, we will also enforce them.
“The joint operation will also include police officers and PCSOs cycling on and around the High Street but please don’t give them a hard time for breaking the law because they will be on duty and the PSPO restrictions do not apply to them.”
Acting chief inspector, Paul Hogben, of the Southend Community Policing Team, added: “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.”
A previous joint operation (24 April) saw three fixed penalty notices (FPNs) issued for cycling, two for begging and one for littering. Two of the FPNs have since been paid and, as no appeals have been received for the outstanding FPN, legal action is underway. Since the April operation, two additional FPNs have been issued by community safety officers with one being paid in full and the other being paid in instalments.