A trial that lets people ride e-scooters on Cambridge’s roads has left many people “confused” about the laws of its illegal private use.

Police and crime commissioner for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, Darryl Preston, explained that a lot of people do not understand the law around private e-scooters.

He added that there is no “one golden nugget” to solve the issue.

It is currently illegal to use a privately owned e-scooter in a public place.

But, in some parts of the country, people can hire e-scooters to use as part of trials that have been authorised by the government.

One of the trials is being run in Cambridge by Voi.

Mr Preston highlighted that the e-scooters in the trials were different from privately owned ones, but added that he recognised the schemes could “confuse people”.

He said: “The pilot schemes that we see in Cambridge and in many other places around the country, these scooters are very different to the ones that you can buy from stores.

“They are restricted in certain areas and there are some areas where they are restricted in speed etc.

“To be able use them, you have to register with a driving licence and make sure that they are insured. Cleary that is the difference from privately owned scooters".

Mr Preston says he understands that a lot of people out there “don’t really understand the laws” and that he thinks it can be “quite confusing as to what you can and cannot do” on personally owned e-scooters.

He said: “The general rule is that they can’t be used on public roads or public places because they are a motorised vehicle.

“I think it does confuse people. You have these schemes that are running and people see people on e-scooters and do not necessarily understand that is lawful.”

At a Cambridge City Council meeting in June, an officer from Cambridgeshire Constabulary discussed the force’s work to tackle the anti-social and illegal use of e-scooters.

At the time, they said so many e-scooters were being used illegally in the city that officers would ‘never be able to do anything else’ if they were to confiscate them all.

Mr Preston said the laws in place were enforced by the police, but that better education and clever legislation was needed.

He said: “When it comes to enforcement there are laws in place.

“I mentioned that you cannot use e-scooters on public roads, and the laws are the same for motorists in that you need a driving licence, insurance, and all those things.

“I’ve been out with our road traffic police and they do enforce, but clearly, they cannot be everywhere and they cannot do this all the time as you can imagine.

“They have to apply themselves to what is happening across the county at one time and what the priorities are.”

He added: “I see lots of children on these and as a parent, I’m quite horrified sometimes.

“Young people are riding these things around roads and pavements and that obviously can be quite high risk for people, so I think education is key to this.

“I think clear legislation, which the government has committed to, will also help with this.

“It will help the police to use that legislation and enforce the law where they can, but clearly that is an operational decision.”

Mr Preston said it should also be considered whether shops selling e-scooters have a “duty of care” to ensure people buying them were aware of the law and the risks.

“The message is to check it out before you get one,” he said.

“Generally speaking, you cannot ride privately owned e-scoters on roads and public pavements.”