Major clampdown on illegal street traders

A major clampdown on illegal street trading in Belfast city centre is on the way, the Lord Mayor of Belfast announced today.

Councillor Tom Ekin said the decision was prompted following information he had received from the Government which revealed that in some instances stalls are providing income for organised crime thus costing legitimate businesses millions of pounds every year.

In response, the chairman of the council’s Health and Environmental Services Committee, Councillor Jim Clarke, has revealed that a sustained and concerted effort to remove the illegal traders from the streets will get underway within the next few weeks.

Councillor Ekin said: “Belfast City Council accepts that street trading can add to the vibrancy of the shopping experience and provide a valuable service to customers, provided it is regulated and conducted in the right places.

“That is why the council has designated 48 pitches in the city, with some licences already issued, but has decided that some sites or streets are unsuitable, including Royal Avenue and Donegall Place.”

Councillor Clarke added: “The fact that we have seized over £1 million worth of goods, including catering trailers, stalls, food and counterfeit goods shows that we have not been idle in dealing with this problem. However, I believe we need to come down even harder.

“We are currently working closely with the police, the Chamber of Trade, Belfast City Centre Management and other relevant statutory agencies and, within the next few weeks, we will be launching a concerted and sustained effort to finally rid Belfast city centre of this problem once and for all.”


Related Northern Ireland News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

19 February 2019
Man Fined £40K For Waste Offences In Antrim
A man has been ordered to pay a £40,000 fine after pleading guilty to six breaches of waste management legislation. Noel Samuel McAllister, 73, from Ballycarry was fined under the Proceeds of Crime Act at Antrim Crown Court on Monday 18 February.
12 February 2019
Belfast Movie House To Close In May
The Movie House cinema in Belfast city centre is set to close, it has emerged. The Dublin Road facility has announced its impending closure at the end of May after it was bought by software firm Kainos. The company plans to turn the Bankmore Square site into its new headquarters.
23 July 2009
Belfast 'Twelfth' Was Shopping Hit
Initial feedback on the commercial impact of Belfast shops being open over the traditional 'Twelfth' celebration has been excellent. This year's event, titled 'Orangefest' on 13 July witnessed Belfast city centre shops opening on the day of the parades for the first time.
07 August 2012
Derry Council 'Dragging Heels' On Independent Traders' Ideas
Northern Irish traders have accused Derry City Council of "dragging its heels" in responding to a plan for regenerating the city centre. The Northern Ireland Independent Retail Traders Association (NIIRTA) presented the plan to the council in April.
01 February 2019
Other News In Brief
Ninth Arrest In Ian Ogle Murder Investigation Three people are currently being questioned about the murder of a 45-year-old community worker in east Belfast. The latest arrest on Friday afternoon, 01 February, saw a 38-year-old man detained, bringing the total number of those questioned by police to nine.