Several curry restaurants in Brick Lane have had their licenses suspended by Tower Hamlets council in order to stop illegal touting.
Four restaurants have temporarily lost their licenses, and another five curry houses have had anti-touting conditions imposed, banning them from touting for business.
A council spokesperson said violating imposed conditions could lead to a fine of £20,000 or imprisonment of six months.
Mayor Luftur Rahman said: “Brick Lane is world-famous and an asset to the borough, and I’m adamant that touts won’t be allowed to spoil it for either residents or visitors. Curry touts are a real nuisance – they hassle and intimidate visitors, and we have taken decisive action to stop them.”
Touting was made illegal in 2008 by the council, as a result of residents and visitors complaining about being harassed by the touts. Despite the ban, many restaurants are still doing it as part of their strategy to attract customers in.
Emily, 33, a resident of Tower Hamlets, said: “I think it’s super annoying. You can’t walk down Brick Lane without being harassed. I’m glad they are not allowed to bother us anymore.”
Restaurant workers have expressed their anger and claimed they were only telling people about the offers, while others said they were relieved.