Derby cycle scheme vandalism: Teenagers charged

Woman on an e-bike Image copyright Derby City Council
Image caption Derby City Council said the e-bikes had been used by about 7,000 riders

Four teenagers have been charged following a surge in vandalism which led to a city's electric bike scheme being suspended.

About a third of Derby's 200 e-bikes were left useable following the damage over the past few months.

Two boys, aged 14 and 15, admitted criminal damage at Southern Derbyshire Magistrates' Court on 31 May.

A 19-year-old man was charged with the same offence while a 14-year-old boy has been charged with taking an e-bike.

About 200 e-bikes were placed at 30 points across Derby in June 2018 after about £450,000 of funding was secured.

The e-bike scheme has seen about 7,000 riders travel roughly 150,000 miles (241,401 km) since its launch.

However, due to "unprecedented vandalism", about 67% of the fleet has been taken off the road.

Image copyright Derby City Council
Image caption Spare parts to repair the bikes have been exhausted
  • The 15-year-old boy pleaded guilty to criminal damage and theft. He was given a referral order and ordered to pay compensation
  • A 14-year-old boy pleaded guilty to the same offences and will be sentenced on 21 June
  • Another 14-year-old boy was charged with taking without consent an e-bike and will appear in court at a later date
  • A 19-year-old man, from Derby, has been charged with possession of a weapon with intent to cause criminal damage and criminal damage. He is due in court at a later date

In some cases, hammers and angle grinders were used to smash the bike's digital panels, Derby City Council said.

Spare parts have been exhausted and the amount of supplies required are not readily available in the UK.

Hourbike, which manages the scheme, said it could no longer operate the scheme with the remaining fleet and the temporary suspension would allow time for options to be explored.

The city council and Hourbike suspended the scheme ahead of Derbyshire Police's announcement about the charges.

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