The UK Government, via the Home Office’s Defence and Security Accelerator (DASA) programme, has put out a market exploration request to help police find and test innovations designed to halt crime committed while utilising the assistance of e-scooters and electric bikes.
“UK Policing is experiencing an increase in the use of E-Scooters and E-Bikes to enable crime,” starts a document pitched at drawing the attention of technology partners who may have solutions in the waiting. Exact crime figures relating to the use of such vehicles have not been released as part of the consultation.
Technologies are sought that can either assist bringing such light electric vehicles to a safe stop, or, in something that may raise fears of some form of licensing discussion, solutions that could electronically trace a suspect after the event. The consultation takes into account the dangers of suddenly stopping vehicles, in particular electric scooters, in which the rider’s weight would be likely to quickly move forwards in the event of a sudden stop.
According to DASA’s targets, the innovations should be able to:
- render a stationary E-Scooter or E-Bike incapable of moving off.
- bring a moving E-Scooter or E-Bike to a controlled stop.
- be capable of being successfully deployed in many different locations against E-Scooters or E-Bikes whilst they are moving or stationary, i.e. the system/technology should be readily portable.
- be target specific, i.e. does not affect persons or technology around the suspect vehicle.
- be reliable in use and consistent when activated.
“This is a problem that has ministerial interest. Your submission may be exposed to law enforcement stakeholders at a roundtable discussion convened to consider the submitted ideas. Potentially successful technologies and concepts may be exploited within any future acquisition programmes,” adds the submissions text.
The consultation is not for the purpose of preventing the theft of electric bikes and electric scooters.
Those responding to the call out can reach DASA here. Currently electric scooters are only legalised in areas with a hire scheme trial, something that will run into the Spring of 2022. This has led the MET Police, concerned by illegal private scooter use, to issue a call for the responsible sale of the light electric vehicles.