A Portuguese restaurant where police reported drug dealing, drug taking and assault has been allowed to keep its licence.

Despite saying that removing it “would be justified”, the Metropolitan Police told Brent Council’s licensing and entertainment licensing sub-committee on May 9 that modifying the licence of O Bombeiro in Park Parade, Harlesden, would allow it to operate in a lawful way.

The bar’s owner, Francisco Nunez, claimed it is being unfairly blamed for antisocial behaviour and drug smoking committed by people hanging around outside the establishment.

He told the committee: “The trouble comes from the street, not O’Bombeiro.”

The tapas bar has been shut since April 4 after Brent Magistrates Court granted a three-month closure order issued by the Met Police, which will come to an end on July 4.

It was issued to the owner of the restaurant after officers searched the site after receiving numerous complaints that drugs were stored, consumed, and dealt at the premises.

Blocks of what was believed to be cannabis resin, as well as scales, cling film, laughing gas canisters, and a knife were found during the search, officers said.

Police documents submitted to the committee stated that their intelligence suggests the owner of the restaurant “is aware and possibly involved” in drug dealing from the premises.

A representative for the Met Police told the committee that CCTV appearing to show a man walking into the premises and dropping a bag containing drugs into the back room meant it was “clearly being used for drug dealing” and called on the council to limit access to this room and cut its opening hours.

Further information from members of the public and the local authority suggest groups of men loiter outside O Bombeiro “staring and intimidating” people as they walk past, police documents show.

However, Mr Nunez told the committee that the drug dealers are nothing to do with them and that they are “not coming to sell, they’re there to eat sandwiches”. He claims they have been telling the people loitering outside to move but they “just come back 15 minutes later”.

Mr Nunez said they have got no help with this from the police and it feels like they “are being punished” for a rise in antisocial behaviour since other premises on the same road were issued with closure orders. Before that happened, he said there were “no problems. No drugs, no fights”.

Following a lengthy deliberation period by the committee, it was decided that some changes to the licence agreement would be necessary for O’Bombeiro to continue trading. But not all of the police’s recommendations were adopted.

The Met called for the back of the premises, which it described as “an ideal location for illegal activity” to be completely restricted. However, the owner will only be required to remove the pool table, gaming machines, and TVs and ensure all guests using this area are seated at tables and chairs for a meal.

The premises will be also forced to close at 11.30pm from Sunday to Thursday and 2am on Fridays and Saturdays – having previously been allowed to stay open until 4am from Thursday to Sunday – as well as CCTV needing to cover every area other than the toilets.