The owner of a Shepherd’s Bush off licence has defeated requests from police to shorten its opening hours, after claims the shop was fuelling anti-social behaviour. writes Owen Sheppard, Local Democracy Reporter.
Police demanded that Hammersmith and Fulham Council review the licence held by Retail 24 in Uxbridge Road, a busy high street by Shepherd’s Bush Green.
The shop’s licence lets it sell alcohol until 1am on weeknights, and 2am on Saturday and Sunday mornings.
Police said its hours should be limited to 11pm, and claimed the shop was “contributing to alcohol-related crime and disorder”.
But at a council licensing hearing on December 18, its owner Kamran Rava, 30, successfully defended the shop’s right to stay open late.
Mr Rava later told the Local Democracy Reporting Service: “I’m not the only alcohol retailer, there’s five other shops in the vicinity.
“There is no evidence that my shop contributes to crime on the Green.
“[The] police had no direct evidence, just statistical evidence about the amount of crime in Shepherd’s Bush.”
He added that the area gets a lot of opportunistic crime, because it is “close to one of Europe’s biggest shopping centres”.
“The police have fewer resources, and that’s their problem. And not every bottle of alcohol that’s sold has something to do with anti-social behaviour,” he said.
Police constable Tom Stewart submitted a report to the council to reduce the shop’s hours in August this year.
PC Stewart wrote: “Shepherd’s Bush Green… is an area that suffers from very high levels of alcohol-related anti-social behavior, crime and disorder.
“The vast majority of these incidents are caused by street drinkers who frequent Shepherd’s Bush Green late in the evening until the early hours of the morning.”
He also wrote: “It is the MPS’s submission that this licenced premises is contributing to alcohol related crime and disorder in the local area.”
He said the Met is unable to provide a 24-hour presence on Shepherd’s Bush Green because of “extremely limited resources”.
The shop has started abiding by a separate licence condition that the police and council had requested – that alcohol is kept in lockable display units, or behind the till.
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