Council cracks down on illegal street trading in Brick Lane

ILLEGAL street traders in Brick Lane market could face fines of up to �1,000, prosecution or expulsion from the borough, in a crackdown by Tower Hamlets council.

Operation Hawker has been launched after people complained about the behaviour of illegal street traders, with allegations of harassment, intimidation and obstruction as people attempt to walk along the pavement.

The police, Tower Hamlets Enforcement Officers and the market service are targeting illegal traders with high visibility patrols and have teamed up with Hackney council to make sure the problem does not spread over the borough boundary.

Operation Hawker has seen illegal traders being handed fixed penalty notices and warning letters threatening them with prosecution, injunctions to halt their activities, or even to ban them from Tower Hamlets, if they persist with their behaviour.

The operation has been funded with money allocated to zero tolerance operations through the You Decide! programme, which saw local people choose how to spend �4.8 million of council money over two years.