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Work and Money
Clampdown on Brick Lane curry touts
Restaurants who approach customers in the street face a £20,000 fine following a ban on touting across Tower Hamlets. The ban is targeted at curry restaurants on Brick Lane.
By Angela Saini
There are more than 50 restaurants on Brick Lane in East London, known as the city's “Curry Capital”. According to local restaurant owners, some began touting for customers as long as a decade ago, hoping to lure people with promises of cheap deals on meals.
But after a number of complaints from visitors and residents of Brick Lane, Tower Hamlets Council has introduced a byelaw, which bans touting throughout the borough.
"It began with just one or two touting for business but this started to affect some other restaurants so badly that they had to start doing the same and before long the situation spiralled," said Tower Hamlets Councillor Abdal Ullah.
The council received complaints that the touts were harassing and intimidating people, and they became concerned that it would put people off from returning to the area.
Previously restaurants were encouraged to sign up voluntarily against touting but the new byelaw enables the council and the police to take action directly against the tout. People who breach the byelaw on Brick Lane could face fines of up to £500.
In addition, Tower Hamlets Council has added an anti-touting condition to any restaurant that holds a licence on or near Brick Lane. Breaching this condition could end in fine of up to £20,000 or six months imprisonment, or both.
last updated: 13/05/2008 at 17:28
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