Chief Inspector Sarah Rivett gave her first address to a local council since her appointment as Ashford’s most senior police officer during the Kennington Community Council meeting on 12 July. This followed the announcement by Kent Police on its new neighbourhood policing model and the re-organisation which has been implemented. 
One of the questions put to the Chief Inspector was how many Penalty Charge Notices had been handed out by the officers in Ashford in regards to the use of E-Scooter on public roads. There was some concern that Ashford Police was giving a lower priority to these offences than some other towns such as Canterbury. 
Although she did not have figures to hand at the meeting, the Community Safety Unit has now provided information on action taken by officers and the policy being applied locally: 
“[T]his is an area we are very keen to educate the public on as many users are unaware of the legislation around the use of them. I know the officers in Ashford have dealt with each case on its own merits and provided a proportionate response to each person stopped. Many users; both children and adults alike have been provided with words of advice and guidance, however where the officers have deemed necessary they have seized the e-scooters from the user. I can confirm that since 2022 Police in Ashford have seized 15 e-scooters and reported 3 of those users to the traffic summons team for prosecution as it was felt neither words of advice or seizure alone was the correct course of action in those cases.” 
In addition, Kent Fire and Rescue Service warn that e-bikes and e-scooters are mostly powered by lithium-ion batteries and can be charged at home. However, if they are not charged correctly and safely, these batteries can catch fire, or fail catastrophically and ‘explode’, or lead to a fire. They add that many fires involve counterfeit electrical goods bought from non-reputable retailers. 
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