London

Moves to stop Brick Lane 'curry touting'

Brick Lane sign
Image caption Businesses have been asked to agree not to use touts to drum up businesses

Restaurateurs in London's Brick Lane have been urged to take measures to stop so-called "curry touting".

Tower Hamlets Council has launched a code of practice to reduce touting, where staff approach by-passers, often aggressively, to get their custom.

Restaurants are asked to agree not to use touts to drum up business or allow them to make false claims about offers.

It is part of a drive to improve Brick Lane ahead of next year when it is the London 2012 Curry Capital.

The code of practice is intended to encourage voluntary buy-in by local businesses to the anti-touting agenda.

It follows an anti-touting by-law in the borough aimed at touts, which was introduced in 2006.

'Aggressive behaviour'

The mayor of Tower Hamlets, Lutfur Rahman, said: "Brick Lane is an exciting and vibrant area that is enjoyed by thousands of visitors every week.

"But curry touts' persistent and aggressive behaviour causes an obstruction to both visitors and local residents, and can create an unpleasant environment for everyone."

The council has already carried out steps to improve Brick Lane, including introducing changes to waste collection to help reduce litter and clutter on the streets.

A food hygiene rating scheme has also been introduced to help people choose where they eat.

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