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Shop-owner in Brent accused of ‘selling alcohol and playing music’ without a licence

A North London butcher and grocery shop has been accused of selling alcohol and playing music without a licence as the owner applies for permission to do both. The Cricklewood Broadway shop owner has recently applied to Brent Council for an alcohol licence and claims the accusations are ‘disrupting’ his business.

Xodo Brazil, a butcher and grocery shop with a café next door that sells Brazilian snacks and drinks, wants to sell alcohol between 9am and 7.30pm Monday to Saturday and until 5pm on Sunday. It also wants to play live music from 4pm to 7pm on Wednesdays.

However, some residents have accused the owner of already selling alcohol and playing music without a licence, which has caused ‘antisocial and dangerous behaviour’. They also claim their complaints are not listened to.

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In one of two objections submitted by residents against the licence application, one said: “This campaign includes […] destruction of our CCTV cameras, verbal abuse, as well as tormenting the residents by playing loud and amplified music.”

They added: “Such a licence being granted […] would greatly infringe on our right to a peaceful enjoyment of our home and it would just embolden the proprietors of Xodo Brazil […].”

The resident claims to have proof that some drunk customers ‘urinate and indecently expose themselves’ in the back garden and smash things with butcher’s knives. Another resident believes they are ‘victims of abuse’ from customers and staff of the shop and any requests to keep the noise down ‘are ignored’.

The shop owner is ‘disheartened’ that this may influence the outcome of his licence application but claims to have a lot of local support. He said: “I have been a part of this community for a significant period of time, and my interactions with the neighbours, businesses, and customers have been amicable.”

The premises falls within a cumulative impact zone (CIZ) – areas where licences are strictly controlled to limit any problems. It was introduced in January 2020 in order to combat a rise in the types of crime that are linked to alcohol consumption and abuse. There is a presumption that any new licence for the sale of alcohol in these areas won’t be granted.

Due to this, as well as local crime statistics, the police have also recommended that the application be refused. Figures show that there have been 213 crimes in the Cricklewood Broadway area over the past 12 months, including for drug use, theft, and assault – resulting in 46 arrests. They also point to the fact that there are currently 23 other venues that sell alcohol in an area described as ‘already suffering from very high crime figures’.

Metropolitan Police Officer, PC Philip Bristow, said: “This community does not require another venue selling alcohol which will only fuel the street crime, antisocial behaviour and create price wars between rival venues. I see no benefits in adding another venue that sells alcohol to Cricklewood Broadway with the existing crime rate.”

The application will be heard by Brent Council’s Alcohol and Licensing Sub-Committee later this month (February 26) when a decision on whether to grant the licence will be made.

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