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Residents fear off licence will bring rise in gang crime

PUBLISHED: 14:07 22 April 2010 | UPDATED: 10:54 12 August 2010

RESIDENTS forced to endure gangs of drunken teenagers loitering near their homes, having sex and setting fire to bins have objected to plans for a new off-licence.

RESIDENTS forced to endure gangs of drunken teenagers loitering near their homes, having sex and setting fire to bins have objected to plans for a new off-licence.

Those living in and around Court Road, Orpington, are worried that youths will cause more trouble if an application for the Vintage shop to sell alcohol from 8am to midnight is granted at a Bromley council licensing sub-committee meeting next Tuesday.

In a letter to the council, Monique Cole, of Court Road, wrote: "We have seen an increase in teenagers hanging around in gangs on the streets outside the supermarket since that opened and we do not need to encourage them to stay around for longer with late licensing.

"I seriously think it would increase the amount of time the gangs hang around and cause noise and disruption to all residents, including ringing our intercom buzzers repeatedly.

"I also feel that crime would increase if it was allowed. We have cases of teenagers jumping over the fences into gardens, setting bins alight and having sex to the rear of our flats."

Bromley police licensing officer Andrew Waddington has made an objection to the council. He believes the owner, Victor Abiodun, has not made enough provision to keep the area safe, including having suitable CCTV.

He said: "I am afraid the applicant has clearly not grasped the importance of the licensing objectives. Both this and other nearby premises have been affected by youth disorder associated with alcohol. Proper control is required to ensure these problems do not continue."

Mr Waddington has made several recommendations to make the premises safe.

But Mr Abiodun, 55, is confident that the licence will be granted next week. He said: "I am a law-abiding citizen and I want to uphold the law. Anyone worried about the problems can contact me directly and I will try to help. We will close earlier at the beginning to stop the noise.

"I have been a successful shopkeeper for a long time and most of the things the police want I have already done."

The meeting is at Bromley civic centre, in Stockwell Close, Bromley, at 10am on April 27.

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