Police received scores of complaints against "nuisance" e-scooter users in the first fortnight since they arrived in Newcastle.

The distinctive orange scooters were rolled out across the city in February, as part of a 12-month trial.

However, a Freedom of Information request has revealed Northumbria Police received 33 complaints in the first two weeks.

This included reports that the 15mph scooters were used inside shops and users were playing dangerous games of "chicken" with cars.

One man told police that two youths drove him past in a park and chanted "Brexit! Brexit!" towards him.

The data shows that almost all of the incidents were linked to low-level anti-social behaviour.

Callers told police that scooter users had kicked traffic cones and hit wing mirrors.

Others appeared to have called the police simply because they'd witnessed youngsters driving them.

In Gosforth, police were even called after someone spotted a user drive one past the County pub while clutching a Costa Coffee.

Neuron, the company behind the scooters, said that besides "some issues" since the vehicles were introduced users have generally behaved responsibly.

"Overwhelmingly we’ve had great feedback and support from the community and the vast majority of our users have been riding in a responsible and safe manner however there are always a few exceptions," said a spokesperson for the firm.

"As with the early stages of any trial there have been some issues with a very small proportion of people not following the rules, but in partnership with the council we have adapted.

"We are constantly evaluating how the e-scooters are being used to see what is working and what can be improved."

The scooters were an instant hit, and were used more than 1,000 times a day in the first week.

However, the launch was also marred by reports of rulebreaking and trouble.

Among those reports, a group of six drunk students who were later banned from the roads for driving around Jesmond on them while under the influence.

That incident was just one of 33 reported to the force between February 16 and March 2, according to the FoI request.

Others included:

Others were reported for "whizzing" around on them too quickly, or for simply "loitering" around.

Police were called in another instance simply because a group - including a scooter rider - were near a pharmacy and looked "intimidating".

However, despite children being banned from using them, in another incident police were called because a child was reportedly playing "chicken" with cars while riding a scooter.

Neuron states that riders must agree to a "comprehensive" set of rules before riding a scooter, and that only those aged over 18 can hire one.

The firm also added that since the start if the 12-month trial, rules have tightened up to stop people hiring them in the middle of the night.

"In Newcastle we worked closely with the council to put in place a citywide curfew for the duration of the lockdown that immobilised all of our e-scooters between 11pm and 5am. This led to a significant reduction in the number of reports of irresponsible riding," added a spokesperson.

"The vast majority of users abide by the rules and behave in a safe and responsible manner.

"For those who do break the rules, we generally warn and educate them but for more serious cases or repeat offenders we suspend their accounts.

People wrongly sharing an e-scooter ride in Jesmond

"We are industry leaders in safety, and our e-scooters have a range of features to keep riders safe, but it is also the responsibility of every rider to follow the rules and do the right thing.

"All of our riders sign up to a comprehensive list of riding rules before they are allowed to take their first trip. They highlight that they need to be over 18, have a driving licence, and that only one person is allowed on an e-scooter at a time.

"The rules are clear when it comes to not riding under the influence of alcohol or other substances, and of course they get guidance on where and how to park and ride.

"The riding rules appear in the app that riders see at the start of every trip, plus there’s voice guidance to remind people of some of the key points, and even stickers on the e-scooters with the main dos and don’ts.

"If anyone spots any of these rules being broken they can report them to us directly 24/7 on 0191 917 4313 or emailing [email protected]

"The police are enforcing the rules and riders need to understand that if they break the law there's a risk of prosecution and penalty points on their driving licence."