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Greggs fails in bid for 24-hour Leicester Square store Published Date: 02/08/2022

The BBC reported that the Met Police had written to the council stating it was its "belief" that if the licence was granted, it could "undermine the licensing objectives in relation to the prevention of crime and disorder", according to the Local Democracy Reporting Service.

Greggs applied to Westminster City Council for a late night refreshment licence to sell food and drink in its newly opened store in Leicester Square from 23:00 until 05:00.

A representative for Greggs said the late-night and early morning sale of hot food and drinks would typically attract emergency service and shift workers rather than anti-social groups.

They also said there was no seating nearby "for people to loiter" saying:

"Greggs is an excellent neighbour… there's no intention to draw hordes of new people in. There are other Greggs offers in the locality, so it's not as if everybody needs to ascend upon this particular premises."

However, the council's cabinet member for licensing and communities, Aicha Less, said:

"We're as excited as anybody about the arrival of Greggs in Leicester Square and I'm sure people across the West End will flock to get themselves a sausage roll, steak bake or jam doughnut.

"However, legitimate concerns have been raised by the police and local people that these plans are half-baked.

"There are worries that businesses serving 24/7 in the city centre creates challenges and that the bakery could become a hot spot for late night disturbances and anti-social behaviour."