There is some confusion over the registration of electric scooters | JUAN CARLOS CARDENAS - jcc - EFE

Electric scooter hire businesses in Playa de Palma are accusing the local police of harassment. The legislation in respect of these vehicles isn't clear, yet they say that fines they have been given have been of a level that some have had to close.

On Friday morning, the police had set up a control for scooters. When the police saw a television camera, it is claimed, they packed up, despite having said that they would be there all morning.

The police, business owners say, require the scooters to be registered in accordance with ordinance governing personal mobility vehicles.

However, under European legislation, the scooters are not registrable. This is because of their wattage - 800. There have been other reasons for issuing fines or requisitioning scooters. "Each time it's for something new. Sometimes it's because they say they have a seat."

The businesses are asking for a moratorium while the law is being cleared up and at least until the end of the tourism season, which they say has in any event been bad.

One of the firms, Spyder, reckons that it has paid over 5,000 euros in fines and for the cost of recovering scooters from the police depot; this alone is 80 euros. The owner of Spyder argues that the Balearics is the only place in the world "where we are having problems".

A dozen companies have joined force in taking the issue up with a lawyer. They regret the bad image which is conveyed to tourists who rent scooters and are then handed fines.

"They are anxious when they come back to the store as they don't understand what's going on."