Three youths had their e-scooters confiscated by police after they were caught riding through a shopping centre.

Officers were called to report of youths riding through Grays Shopping Centre on Thursday, August 12.

Three teenage boys were detained and returned to their parents; police say “words of advice” were given to their parents over the legality of e-scooters.

A fourth teenage boy was detained outside of Grays train station as he was riding his scooter towards the pedestrianised area, police said.

A spokesperson for the force added: “We are not here to catch people out, particularly teenagers, children, or their unsuspecting parents who have purchased e-scooters as gifts. We want to engage and help raise awareness of the current laws around privately-owned e-scooters.

“We will take enforcement action if there’s evidence of anti-social behaviour being committed on e-scooters, or if these vehicles are being used in other criminal activities such as robberies.

“We know that e-scooters have environmental and cost-saving benefits, but they must be used within the law.”

To ride an e-scooter on public land, the rider requires a driving licence, insurance and must be 16 years or over.

Currently, e-scooters cannot be insured, so this makes it illegal to ride one in public areas.

Any privately-owned e-scooter being used in public can be seized under S.165 of the Road Traffic Act.

Adult riders can be reported for no insurance and driving otherwise than in accordance with a driving licence.