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A child's hand passing on coins in a man's hand in an ice cream van

Ice cream – smoothie criminal

Street traders have been warned to make sure they get the correct licences after the owner of an ice cream van was ordered by a court to pay almost £6,000 after being found guilty of trading illegally.

Idrees Mian, of Uxbridge Road in Southall, appeared at Uxbridge Magistrates’ Court on 19 May, and he pleaded guilty to two charges of illegal street trading in The Broadway in Southall, but argued in a third incident that he was not trading and was merely parked.

Council officers provided evidence including eye witness accounts and CCTV images, and two police officers also prepared to testify. The result was that Mr Mian was guilty on all four charges: three charges of illegal street trading, and one charge of failure to respond to a notice.

Mian was ordered to pay £5,990 in fines and legal fees: £2,850 in fines, £1,140 in victim surcharges, and £2,000 in costs.

Ice cream vans

Ice cream vans are legally meant to be constantly in motion and are not allowed to stay parked on unrestricted roads to trade for any longer than 15 minutes at a time – and they must then move on and not return to that location for the rest of the day.

If vans remain stationary all day, they effectively become a de facto fixed pitch street trader operating without a licence. The vehicle can receive a parking control notice (PCN) for unlawful parking, particularly if it is parked on the footpath or in a controlled parking zone (CPZ) without a permit. In the last year, one ice cream van alone received (and paid) 42 PCNs for illegal parking. The trader may receive a fixed penalty notice (FPN) for unlicensed street trading or for wilful obstruction of the highway.

In the past year, the council has issued 35 FPNs to ice cream van operators for these offences.

However, for many, fines and penalties are treated as merely the cost of doing business, but this behaviour is illegal. In the past month, CCTV has captured 18 separate incidents of ice cream vans breaking the rules and council enforcement officers will be following up on every case.

Peter Mason, Leader of Ealing Council said: “While we welcome traders in all our towns in Ealing, we expect them to have the correct licences and operate legally. The council will continue to take action against anyone who is trading or parking illegally. Illegal parking is not acceptable at any time in Southall or any of our other seven towns.”

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