Christmas traders crackdown
ILLEGAL traders on the streets of Ipswich town centre will be targeted in a zero tolerance crackdown.The Ipswich Partnership today declared that immediate action would be taken against rogue street traders and pedlars.
ILLEGAL traders on the streets of Ipswich town centre will be targeted in a zero tolerance crackdown.
The Ipswich Partnership today declared that immediate action would be taken against rogue street traders and pedlars.
Within days, Ipswich pedlars and street traders are to receive notices advising that if they breach the law, their goods could be seized pending prosecution.
The streets will be also be patrolled by police, community support and Trading Standards officers, as well as Ipswich Borough Council enforcement officer Bob Bennett. The town's CCTV cameras will also be used.
The initiative, led by town centre management company The Ipswich Partnership, comes after a high number of illegal traders operated in Ipswich last year, especially in the run-up to Christmas.
Paul Clement, head of the Ipswich Partnership, said: "Ipswich experienced an increased problem with street traders selling poor quality goods to our customers and clearly not operating within the law.
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"Ipswich welcomes retailers of all sizes who complement our current mix of shops, and who offer a quality product, but we need to be much stronger and quicker in dealing with those not trading within the law."
There are strict regulations governing street trading.
Street traders need to have a licence from Ipswich Borough Council entitling them to trade from a certain position.
Whereas pedlars, who need to have a certificate from the police, must - unless making a sale - keep moving all the time. They must also not cause an obstruction or go on private land without consent.
All traders must sell goods that are legal and comply with Trading Standards regulations.
Helen Buckingham, the borough council's commercial services manager, said: "We are pleased to lend our full support to the initiative.
"Ipswich Borough Council has a duty to ensure consumers in Ipswich town centre are protected from rogue trading."
Town centre businesses have welcomed the zero tolerance policy.
Neil Roberts, manager of Debenhams and a representative on the Ipswich Partnership's executive committee, said: "Illegal traders who sell shoddy goods to our customers and then disappear without trace can do nothing but harm the reputation of the town.
"The Partnership has been absolutely right to raise this issue as a priority among its members.
"The support of the borough council, the police and Trading Standards in ridding the town of poor quality merchandise, too often sold illegally, is to be welcomed".
Colin Roberts, manager of the Buttermarket shopping centre, added: "The town needed to take strong action to protect shoppers whose loyalty we fight hard to keep.
"These illegal traders bring little to our town, contribute nothing by way of business rates and too often persuade trusting members of the public to part with their money in return for sub-standard goods."
Do you think illegal traders on Ipswich streets damage the town? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail email@example.com