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E-scooters can be jammed by a ‘stinger’ device made by experts in a top secret lab

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Priti Patel has instructed the government’s top military scientists to find ways to prevent e-scooters from being used by criminals as the devices are increasingly used for shoplifting, assault and drug trafficking, as well as escaping arrest.

The Home Secretary has asked the elite Defense and Security Accelerator (DASA) – an agency headquartered in the top-secret Porton Down labs near Salisbury – to find ways to remotely block moving e-scooters and to stop and stop the stationary devices are driven away.

DASA – which is operated by the Department of Defense – has also been tasked with making GPS chips for e-scooters so that the police can track them down if a criminal uses them, or to get the device back after one is found. stolen .

The Home Secretary has asked the elite Defense and Security Accelerator (DASA) – an agency headquartered in the top-secret Porton Down labs near Salisbury

The new technology will be used exclusively by police forces, who have reported an increase in e-scooter-related crimes.

DASA said in a statement: “Legitimately used e-scooters have many positive benefits, such as portability and environmental friendliness.

“If used illegally, British police face several challenges when trying to bring these vehicles to a controlled stop without risk to the rider, the public or police officers.”

The latest figures show a fivefold increase in the number of crimes committed with e-scooters this year.

Official data shows that 206 crimes involving a suspect riding an e-scooter were registered in London in the first four months of this year, compared to four in the same period last year.

The Metropolitan Police has also seized more than 2,000 illegally used e-scooters since the beginning of this year.

Essex Police have dealt with 100 e-scooter crimes since the beginning of this year, compared to five in all of last year.

There were also 120 such incidents in Norfolk, 100 in Merseyside and 81 in Cleveland this year.

The latest figures from the Ministry of Transport show that last year e-scooter riders injured 100 road users and pedestrians, including 21 cyclists, 22 in vehicles and 57 pedestrians.

According to government regulations, e-scooters may only be used on public roads and bicycle paths if they are rented from an authorized operator.  Pictured, stock photo of a couple riding e-scooters

According to government regulations, e-scooters may only be used on public roads and bicycle paths if they are rented from an authorized operator. Pictured, stock photo of a couple riding e-scooters

Eight children were among the victims, the data shows.

As many as 383 e-scooter riders themselves were injured in accidents last year, with one being killed.

This year, another rider, Shakur Pinnock, 20, died in June six days after being involved in a car accident in Wolverhampton.

In July 2019, YouTube star and TV presenter Emily Hartridge, 35, died after being hit by a lorry while riding an e-scooter at a roundabout in Battersea, south London.

According to government regulations, e-scooters may only be used on public roads and bicycle paths if they are rented from an authorized operator.

The devices cannot be driven on sidewalks.

Privately purchased e-scooters – which can cost up to £1,500 – can only be used on private property, but many are ridden illegally on public roads.

Officials at DASA said the jamming technology the experts want to invent will be portable so police officers can use it from highways to city centers.

Also, the technology can be used to attack a specific e-scooter at any time, without affecting others in the immediate vicinity.

DASA has even asked technical experts and scientists from the public to submit their own proposals.

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