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Almost 40 businesses in Newham suspected of flouting lockdown rules investigated by trading standards

PUBLISHED: 12:00 12 May 2020

High Street North, East Ham, and Upton Lane, Forest Gate, have both been targeted by trading standards officers investigating breaches of lockdown or social distancing rules. Picture: Ken Mears

High Street North, East Ham, and Upton Lane, Forest Gate, have both been targeted by trading standards officers investigating breaches of lockdown or social distancing rules. Picture: Ken Mears

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Almost 40 business premises have been investigated following concerns they were trading unlawfully or not following social distancing rules.

Newham's mayor, Rokhsana Fiaz. Picture: LBNNewham's mayor, Rokhsana Fiaz. Picture: LBN

A total of 37 establishments were checked out by Newham Council enforcement officers with 17 found to be trading unlawfully and given advice.

A further 14 were advised how to manage social distancing, while three notices to close were served on businesses whose owners refused to shut their doors.

Two fines were served for breaching a prohibition notice which had already been issued.

Mayor of Newham Rokhsana Fiaz said: “We will continue this vital work to make sure those businesses who are playing by the rules are not put at unfair advantage by those who are not.

“Our thanks to Newham residents and businesses who are keeping up with the restrictions.”

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Newham’s trading standards officers are mounting targeted operations in high streets, including High Street North in East Ham and Upton Lane in Forest Gate, for businesses flouting the law by trading illegally during the crisis.

A council spokesman said: “Since the government announced restrictions in March, Newham has received a steady flow of complaints suggesting widespread flouting of social distancing measures, with businesses breaking the rules and unnecessary travelling in the borough.

“While the majority of residents have been following the rules since the introduction of the lockdown measures, there have been pockets of non-compliance which are being addressed by council officers using the full scope of their powers, and resources that they currently have.”

A pensioner, who asked not to be named, told the Recorder that a barbershop in East Ham was accepting customers through a side door and was charging £30 for a haircut.

“He’s open everyday, but should not be open in the first place. He’s trying to make money out of this [situation],” he said.

For individuals, only the police can take enforcement action under the Coronavirus Act. Anyone with concerns should contact the police on 101.

If you suspect any business is trading unlawfully email trading.standards@newham.gov.uk

Barbershops, hair salons, restaurants, pubs and clothes shops are among those businesses barred from opening to reduce social contact between people. For the latest advice visit gov.uk/coronavirus


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