More than 200 complaints about lockdown breaches were sent to Brent Council over a two-month period during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The council said it received 222 notices of people allegedly breaking the rules between March 16 and May 14.

Most of the complaints – 156 – were about businesses operating when they should not have been, with hairdressers, beauty salons, vape shops and mobile phone shops among the culprits.

A further 66 complaints were sent in about people ignoring social distancing guidance.

Cllr Tom Miller, responsible for community engagement and safety at Brent Council, said: “Most London businesses have so far respected the law on business closures and we need them to keep on going until it is safe to re-open.

“But there are still some in the minority flouting the new laws and to-date we have served 14 prohibition notices, served 20 warning letters and visited 208 businesses.

“Businesses are playing a critical role in the Covid-19 response and it is extremely important that they continue to abide by the law and protect the public.

“Our enforcement teams will continue to work with the public who are our ‘eyes and ears’ so that we can keep everyone safe through this pandemic and into recovery.”

The council also noted that 67 complaints were lodged by shoppers who claimed retailers were exploiting the crisis by hiking up prices on certain goods.

Cllr Miller reminded businesses they should “treat customers with fairness and not inflate prices at this difficult time”.

London Trading Standards (LTS) officers explained that the overwhelming majority of businesses across the capital have obeyed government advice.

According to their statistics, just two per cent of businesses visited over the past two months have been told to close.

However, LTS operations director Stephen Knight said more and more shops are “attempting to open illegally as the lockdown goes on”.

He urged them to continue to comply with the rules and help keep the public safe.