Sunday 2 June 2019 11:52 am

Driving the City nuts: Square Mile cracks down on peanut sellers

A band of entrepreneurial peanut sellers in the Square Mile face prosecution following a police crackdown aimed at tackling illegal trading around the City of London.

Authorities have been clamping down on the snack traders amid security fears over carts used by vendors containing gas bottles and causing both congestion on narrow pavements and a rise in vermin on bridges near the capital’s financial centre.

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Police have seized 11 "peanut receptacles" since November last year, all of which will be followed by prosecutions, following new daily inspections for unlawful trading by Blackfriars, Millennium, Southwark, London and Tower Bridges.

Ice cream, souvenir, painting, peanut and jewellery sellers all sparked security concerns around Tower Bridge last year, leading to the introduction of a City licensing officer being funded by the Bridge House Estate, an independent charity in the Square Mile, to tackle the rise in traders.

According to City of London’s committee documents, until recently City officers had no enforcement authority for parts of bridges by the Square Mile, which had reflected "poorly on the image and reputation of the City".

However, since the "persistent enforcement activity, the areas now able to be enforced by City Officers remain relatively clear of traders with displacement now affecting the areas surrounding the Tower and Tower Hill tube station."

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A spokesperson for the City of London Corporation said: "Working with our partners we are clamping down on illegal street trading on City bridges. In the last six months we have seized equipment belonging to illegal street traders and prosecution files are being prepared for these offences."