Illegal traders beware. That is the clear message that Lambeth Council has for hot dog sellers and other unauthorised businesses operating on the South Bank.
Lambeth has joined forces with the police, the Cross River Partnership, the London Eye company and Westminster Council to launch a high profile campaign to get rid of unlicensed traders.
A team of council enforcement officers has set up regular patrols along the South Bank to ensure that all traders operating are legal and licensed. The patrols have a local base and regularly monitor trading activities.
More than 14 officers will keep an eye on businesses, particularly illegal hot dog traders who are a major nuisance and source of many complaints. The enforcement operation began in February and netted half a dozen illegal traders over a ten-day period. All six cases have been referred to Lambeth's legal department for prosecution.
Bishop's Ward councillor and leader of Lambeth Council Peter Truesdale said: "The South Bank area is a huge attraction for tourists and local people as there is lots to see and do. Unfortunately some unscrupulous individuals see this as an opportunity to – quite literally – set up shop.
"These illegal traders are unlicensed and we cannot vouch for their health and safety standards. They could be putting the public at serious risk. Officers have been very successful in giving the clear message that illegal traders will not be tolerated. Since these patrols have begun the number of hot dog sellers has virtually dried up."