your liberty and freedom is the subject of government consultation - don't let them confuse you  - inform yourself


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20 October 2014 - Scrutiny of Metropolitan Police & Pedlary PDF Print E-mail


(see also 9 February 2011 article)


On 31 July 2014 emailed the Metropolitan Police via the web portal.

I am Roll B Parliamentary Agent and administrator for the information portal                                                                

I am referred to your webpage about pedlary and the process for application for a pedlars certificate.                                                                 

It has come to our attention that some of the information is considered inaccurate and I would like a named contact person to assist this enquiry.                                                                

Telephone or email address will also assist.                                                                

Thank you.


On 31 July 2014 was invited to list the alleged inaccuracies which follows:


Metropolitan Police web portal information on pedlary

Thank you for your reply.

I agree that Charity legislation and Pedlar legislation are unrelated and I am grateful that you will look into the following issues.

The attached clip is the inaccurate text referred to.



Pedlars certificates:

Most of the article content describing "A pedlar.." is wrongly stated and requires revision as it relies on pedlars being "doorknockers" and not entitled "to undertake Street-trading activities".

It is inappropriate for the MPS to promote a misconstruction to circulate as a public policy document indicating that "A person who acts without a pedlar's certificate commits an offence": 

- this statement is a misconstruction of law and liable to be overturned by Judicial Review. 

The following list is offered by in critique and includes suitable amendment. 


1     The article is constructed to make out that pedlars "are the doorknockers".

This is pejorative and is the equivalent of the Met passing off pedlars as offenders against the 1847 Town Police Clauses Act for creating nuisance by knocking at doors. 

A person trading as a pedlar is trading as a private contractor whether in the street or at "mens houses" [Pedlars Act] - at another person's house a person is able to trade according to statute:

2008 Cancellation of Contracts Made in Consumers Home or Work Place Schedule 3 Clause 6 exempts contracts under £35 and the activity is unregulated. A pedlar's certificate is not required as the matter is private.


The issue was tested recently in Parliament when the promoters of the Canterbury, Leeds, Nottingham & Reading private bills sought to limit the activity of pedlars operating in designated streets by restricting them only to door-step selling.

The restriction was rejected and interpretation of "only by means of visits from house to house" was clarified to mean "ambulant trading" as compared to 'static trading' or to only 'door-to-door trading'.

A more accurate statement has evolved as a result of the work undertaken by pedlars at and by pedlars as parliamentary agents working with HMG to accord with the European Services Directive - the PSRA2009: 

A pedlar is a self-regulated certified pedestrian service provider travelling and trading within any part of the United Kingdom [Pedlars Act 1881], carrying to sell or exposing for sale any goods [Pedlars Act 1871].


To "travel" and "trade" was made clear in the precedent of Watson v Malloy wherein to travel is the same as "goes" in the Pedlars Act (1871&1881) and so is a description of an 'ambulant' trader and not one attached by regulation to a specific pitch – cf. LG(MP)A 1982 / LLA 2004.

A more succinct phrase can also be stated as a positive promotion of the principle of pedlary:

The Pedlars Act protects civil liberty to freely trade in public under the authority of a Pedlar's Certificate.


2     "...or offering their skills in handicrafts"  is inaccurate because the Provision of Services Regulations Act 2009 Part 10 Section 45 removed chair-menders and handicrafts persons from the Pedlars Act

It is more accurate to make no reference to such descriptions of pedlary.


3     "selling such things as, pictures, dusters etc" is inaccurate because certified pedlars may trade "any goods, wares or merchandise or procure orders.." [Pedlars Act].

A substantive summary of the lawful activities of pedlary extracted from statute, case law, private Acts and current government consultations is available on-line.


4     "A person who acts without a pedlar's certificate commits an offence" is utterly wrong and wholly inaccurate to be a statement in law because the effect is to  include any person doing any thing.

It is more accurate to state:

A person acting as a pedlar without a pedlar's certificate is open to the offence of trading without a Certificate.


5     "A pedlar’s certificate does not entitle you to undertake Street-trading activities" - this is not stated in law. A certified pedlar is a street trader as much as a "licensed" trader is a street trader.

A certified pedlar is entitled to undertake the trading activities of a licensed street trader with the main exception that a certified pedlar may have only pedestrian means of trading whereas a licensed street trader can have only a regulated pitch allocated by local authority in order to conform to the Highways Act and highway regulations.


This is what primarily differentiates the two types of trading activity and why pedlary is exempted from local authority street trading regulations that limit the public liability of static objects obstructing the highway. 

A more accurate statement is:

A pedlar's certificate does not entitle a person to act as a licensed trader whose activities are regulated by a local authority. 

6     "If you wish to apply for a pedlars certificate.." is more accurately stated: 

"If you you wish to apply for a pedlar's certificate you should fill in the Pedlars Certificate Application Form ..."


The on-line application form contains a question not required by law:

7     "NOTE: Please be specific about the type of goods to be sold or type of trade to be followed" - this is not required by law because a pedlar may trade "any goods" [Section 3 Pedlars Act] and the type of trade is unrestricted

The Pedlars Act includes some descriptions of types of trade circa 1871 but allows for future descriptions of types of trade in the words "or other person".

A pedlar retains the right to change the type of trade from time to time and it may be considered ultra vires for the Commissioner of Police to affect that right.

Pedlars intervention with Dorset police helped clarify the Dorset police Application Form for a Pedlar's Certificate..


If the text is to be retained then it is more accurate to state:

NOTE: Please be specific about the type of goods to be sold or type of trade to be followed. There is no requirement under the Act to do so; therefore failure of this is not a reason to refuse an application.


We trust that this assists the Metropolitan police web information and that release of this information assists all stakeholders with current government consultation


We are happy to represent the full article with these amendments and recommend a pedlar image that illustrates the activity of a pedlar.


Please confirm who has authority to approve these amendments and instruct Susannah Parry Lead Web Content Editor.

Yours sincerely



On 7 August 2014 was invited to submit a revised article of what should be on the web portal - this was peer reviewed and submitted 11 August as follows:


Dear Nilesh

Thank you for your invitation to edit the on-line information about Pedlars certificates.

The attached "recommended rewrite" has been edited by peer review to ensure accuracy.

Two images relating to pedlary are included to indicate both current and past pedlary modus operandi.

If the author intends adding further information we will be happy to critique same.

With your permission we would also like to critique the on-line link to Grant/Renewal Pedlar Certificate to correct several anomalies.

We look forward to being of further assistance.

Yours sincerely




On 13 August 2014 emailed a further enquiry as follows:

Dear Nilesh

We have several enquiries about CRB/DBS checks in reference to Applications for a Pedlars Certificate.

Could you please send a link that informs applicants for a pedlars certificate about the impact of prior convictions.

We want to establish if a spent conviction has any lawful relevance to police decision re grant of certificate.

This information will also assist us in preparing the critique of the current on-line application form.

Yours sincerely


ps we have a useful info portal that we have previously referred enquirers: 


On 14 October 2014 met police published a revised copy as follows:


On 16 October 2014 BIS published its report BIS/14/776 referring to further consultation with police about an objective test for good character.

We now have further work to do... "These are doorknockers...." remains an inaccurate pejorative comment... updates will follow... keep posted!



20 October 2014


On 5 November 2014 wrote to the contact at the Metropolitan Police who authored the update:

Dear Nilesh

Metropolitan Police - web portal - Pedlars Certificates


Please accept my apologies for this delay in getting back to you as promised 20 October... I have been away.


There is general agreement from pedlars that the modified article is more accurate than the original.


What remains of serious concern to all is the following sentence:

These are the doorknockers selling such things as, pictures, dusters etc."

The statement is unreliable in law and may mislead those who seek information about pedlary from the public portal The same concern was raised in our email 1 August point 1 in which qualified pedlars proposed a more objective and contemporary description of a pedlar.


The Pedlars Act Section 3 provides the only lawful description of the many and various activities of a pedlar, including some descriptions circa 1871 but also allowing for other descriptions in the words "or other person" to evolve over time.

Pedlars do not dispute that amongst their many trading activities pedlars also retain lawful discretion to knock on doors but pedlars refute being limited exclusively to only this activity.

Pedlars consider statements limiting pedlars' activity with examples of "pictures, dusters etc" to be unreliable in law as the Pedlars Act provides the description "any goods" that allows for the diversity of any contemporary choice being available to pedlars and so any limitation and alteration to the Pedlars Act may be prejudicial and ultra vires or beyond the legal authority of the metropolitan police to condition statutory national legislation. 


We note from our original communications that your expertise did not reside in the matter of Pedlars Certificates and pedlars consider that expertise will be essential for future government consultation with the Metropolitan Police.


It will be of assistance for you to give serious consideration to these concerns as removing unreliable statements and this sentence helps to reflect the actual statute with greater accuracy. 


To be of further assistance please see the following:

Government Response: Street Trading and Pedlary legislation: compliance with the EU Services Directive 


The Human Rights Act may not provide a statutory Right to Work but pedlars rely on that fundamental civil right being enshrined in the Pedlars Act with lawful oversight by the Crown's agents. 

Government policy now concedes that the Pedlars Act will be preserved with pedlars' recommended Services Directive amendments. 


You will be aware that government seeks to work with police to make sure that "the good character check for a pedlar’s certificate is objective and is applied consistently across the UK"link


You will recall my email 11 August re corrections to anomalies in the on-line link to Grant/Renewal Pedlar Certificate:


As the stakeholders pedlars expect to be consulted in any formulation of an objective test of good character and therefore expect your invitation for the pedlars' critique of the on-line link.


I draw your attention to my email to you of 13 August 2104 requesting information about "spent" convictions in regard to CRB/DBS "good character" checks and so await your reply or referral to a qualified person.


Your sincerely


Robert Campbell-Lloyd admin

please note that this is a peer reviewed communication


9 December 2014 Met police accept recommendations and update their website as follows:

you can also check the original here 






My Evil Trade - Link to video








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