A Subway restaurant in Wembley will not be allowed to stay open 24 hours a day amidst concerns raised by the police that it would attract drunk people and add to the already high crime levels in the area.
Brent Council’s licensing sub-committee refused the application by the fast-food premises at a recent meeting (October 16). The franchise owner, Khurram Shahzad, said it was essential to extend the opening times at the restaurant on Bridge Road in Wembley to tackle the “significant financial challenges” he is facing.
Metropolitan Police Officer, PC Phillip Graves, told the committee that allowing the premises to open 24 hours a day “isn’t appropriate” because of the “existing crime level in the area of Bridge Road”. He also suggested extending the opening hours would create a lot of noise for nearby residents.
PC Graves said: “Subway can’t predict the customers that are going to come. Unfortunately, people go to late-night refreshment venues already under the influence of alcohol. They’re going to turn up in cars, mopeds coming for deliveries, which is just going to create more noise”.
The Subway falls within the Wembley Triangle CIZ (Cumulative Impact Zone) – areas where licences are strictly controlled to limit any problems. Whilst the CIZ is designed for alcohol licensed premises, the police formally objected to the plan on the basis that it is an illustration of the “high crime levels” in this part of Brent.
Officers were called to the area 43 times between September 2022 and September 2023, with 30 crimes being officially recorded in that time. Five of those were directly linked to the Subway, according to council documents.
The Licensing Enforcement Officer also recommended that the application be refused. He told the committee it would “attract people who are inebriated, people that do not have self-control, and people who like to mug those inebriated people at 4am”.
The original application sought to keep the restaurant fully open, but during the meeting Mr Shahzad said he would agree to a “worse case scenario” of providing delivery only after 2am. PC Graves said the police would be “much happier” with this option but it was ultimately not enough for the application to be given the go ahead.
The committee determined that, whilst the evidence from the police and licensing officer “was not strong enough” to prevent the extension of the opening hours, it was “uncertain precisely what the applicant was seeking”.
It concluded that the “nature and extent of the application shifted repeatedly” in response to the questions asked and it “must make a decision on the application before it”. Therefore, the premises will retain its original opening hours of 8am to midnight Monday to Thursday and from 9am to 2am Friday to Sunday.