A hardware store has been given the green light to sell alcohol, despite police concerns about street drinking and antisocial behaviour.

Amandeep Singh Dhall applied to Brent Council to add an alcohol licence to One Stop superstore, a hardware shop on Ealing Road in Wembley (formerly Jalaram Superstores).

Police had warned it could "add fuel to the fire" of antisocial behaviour in the area, but the council's entertainment and alcohol licensing sub-committee yesterday (January 31) allowed the shop to sell alcohol from 9am to 10pm every day.

They felt it was "unlikely" that it would contribute to street drinking and offers "something distinct".

Police said that while crime wasn’t particularly high, there were persistent problem with antisocial behaviour and street drinking near the shop. They also suggested there was a "great deal" of unreported crime due to a breakdown in their relationship with people in the area.

PC Tobias Goldhill-Watts said: “Having been to the location very recently, […] me and my sergeant were confronted by large groups of males that were clearly drunk. When we attempted to talk to a local business owner, we were approached by a group of nine males who were seemingly trying to intimidate us by getting into our personal space. It was one of the times that I have been frightened for officers’ safety.”

PC Goldhill-Watts told councillors that introducing more alcohol would only fuel this kind of behaviour and "potentially lead to more serious crime".

He added: “At the moment, there’s a sense in the community that [the police] are not doing enough to combat disorder. […] people don’t feel comfortable anymore talking to the police because they don’t think we are going to do anything.”

The premises is within the Wembley Central CIZ (Cumulative Impact Zone), which was introduced to combat disorder caused by alcohol sales. This limits licences only to shops offering something different.

Mr Dhall’s solicitor argued that the application was not for a standard licence as only 20% of the store would be dedicated to alcohol, and Mr Dhall said he wants to run a ‘mini Tesco’ that sells a bit of everything.

They claimed that a petition signed by 77 customers showed demand from the community, and suggested that approving the licence would "set a benchmark for high expectations", improving other premises within the CIZ.

A collection of more than 30 conditions were proposed by Mr Dhall to get the licence, including spirits only being sold from behind the counter, not selling single units or miniatures, installing a panic button, and training staff. The applicant also pledged not to sell kitchen knives.

Police argued that licensing objectives would not be met regardless of the number of conditions and granting the application would "add fuel to the fire".

Officers said they can’t control who comes into the shop and adding a third premises in the area could start a ‘price war’ and lower the price of alcohol.

However, councillors ultimately granted the licence, saying there was ‘no evidence’ it would have a detrimental impact and suggested that there is a local need for a ‘one-stop shop'.