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Community Safety, Trading standards, Transport and streets

Lambeth Council’s crushing victory against illegal ice cream sellers

Cllr Jack Hopkins and Cllr Pete Robbins welcome the tough action against illegal traders

Lambeth Council have licked unlicensed ice cream sales by crushing a van that was repeatedly used illegally around South Bank tourist hot spots.

The ice cream van was seized on Westminster Bridge near the London Eye in May last year and destroyed today at a South London scrap yard. (July 12)

Cllr Jack Hopkins, Lambeth Council Cabinet Member for Public Protection, said: “The South Bank is one of London’s most popular tourist destinations.

“We’re determined to do everything in our powers to tackle cowboy traders who try to operate there.

“Crushing this van sends a clear message that we are prepared to use all legal powers at our disposal to protect the public and crack down on unlicensed traders who clearly believe they are above the law.

“This van was being parked in Westminster Bridge blocking cycle lanes, and those trying to travel safely by bike along the busy route have already told me they welcome this move.

“We are working hard to make life as safe and pleasant for residents across the borough, and today’s action is part of that push.”

Street trading around the South Bank is closely regulated to ensure that tourists don’t end up being ripped off or sold potentially harmful food and other items.

But with millions of tourists visiting the area every year, the area attracts unlicensed hawkers keen to make a quick profit.

The crushed vehicle was seized from a persistent illegal trader working in the area.

In a separate case Lambeth Council and the South Bank Employers’ Group also recently took legal action against two other persistent illegal street traders Elma Sanli and Ndue Meli after it became clear that they were prepared to ignore the threat of prosecution and on the spot fixed penalties.

The council was granted interim civil injunctions against Sanli and Meli on June 13 which bans them from trading in 22 streets around South Bank and Waterloo.

Cllr Pete Robbins, Lambeth Council’s Cabinet Member for Neighbourhood Services, said: “Crushing this ice cream van shows that in Lambeth we will take the strongest possible action against people who cause a nuisance to our residents and visitors.

“We have successfully used injunctions to stop illegal traders on the South Bank, and seizing their assets is just the cherry on top.”

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