Criminals using e-scooters and off-road e-motorcycles to commit crime and cause nuisance have been left crushed after police in Hampshire destroyed a haul of the two-wheeled electric vehicles.

Police have the powers to crush e-scooters and off-road e-motorcycles being used to commit crimes, as part of Operation Crush.

This includes those involved in anti-social behaviour and putting people at risk of injury, but officers have also noticed an upsurge in e-scooters and e-motorcycles being used by drug gangs.

Whenever Hampshire officers deal with a crime involving e-scooters and other powered two-wheeled vehicles, they will consider serving a disposal notice and having the vehicle crushed.

It is hoped this will act as a deterrent, as some e-scooters and e-motorcycles cost several thousands of pounds.

Inspector Andy Tester said: “Given the difficulties there can be stopping these vehicles and identifying the riders, we have noticed them becoming really popular with those committing a variety of different crimes, including those involved in drugs gangs. “While we will always try and engage with people first and educate them about the laws around these vehicles, unfortunately not everyone is willing to listen to us and refuse to heed our warnings. “So, we realised we needed to deploy tougher tactics for those persistent offenders and looked at how we can use existing legislation to offer more of a deterrence. “This means that whenever our officers deal with a crime involving e-scooters and other P2WVs, they will have another option to consider and where proportionate, this could end up with a disposal notice being served and the vehicle being crushed. “We hope that this action shows our communities that we have listened to their concerns about the rising use of these e-scooters and e-motorcycles being ridden dangerously or being used to carry out crime and anti-social behaviour. “We believed that this change in policy will help clamp down on those committing numerous offences with these vehicles and act as a significant deterrent. "We know that the crushing of these vehicles will disrupt criminal activity because they will need to spend more money to buy replacement vehicles. Some of the electric motorcycles used by criminals can cost several thousands of pounds, so this will have a significant impact on their operations. The police only have to be lucky once, they have to be lucky every time to not be caught.”