Thugs using electric scooters to commit crimes and evade arrest could be stopped by a high-tech jamming device.
Electric scooters, which are illegal to use in public in the UK unless rented from a licensed operator, are increasingly used for shoplifting, muggings and drug trafficking .
The latest figures show a 50-fold increase in the number of crimes committed using electric scooters this year.
The Defense and Security Accelerator (DASA), which is part of the Department of Defense, has asked top scientists to develop technology that allows cops to stop moving electric scooters by jamming them from a distance and prevent stationary scooters from being moved.
The device will be portable so that the police can use them from highways to city centers.
GPS chips will also be created for electric scooters to help them locate them if used by thugs and the technology can target a specific electric scooter without affecting others in the same area.
DASA, a top-secret government laboratory commissioned by Priti Patel to develop this technology, said in a statement: “Legally used electric scooters have many positive benefits, such as portability and environmental friendliness.
“However, when used illegally, UK police services face several challenges when attempting to stop these vehicles in a controlled manner, without risk to the driver, the public or the police.”
The latest figures from the Ministry of Transport show that electric scooter riders injured 100 road users and pedestrians last year, including 21 cyclists, 22 in vehicles and 57 pedestrians.