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1 August 2014 -Metropolitan Police online info rebuttal PDF Print E-mail



Metropolitan Police web portal information on pedlary


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

Robert Campbell-Lloyd

Roll B Parliamentary Agent

administrator at



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