A crackdown on alcohol sales at three Oxford Road shops is due to historic anti-social behaviour problems such as “urination and aggressive begging”, according to a local community leader.

Thames Valley Police (TVP) has requested the council review the licences of three shops on the main road: Today’s Express, K B Superstores, and Anrish Stores.

Peter Bowyer, chair of the Oxford Road Safer Neighbourhood Forum, said Oxford Road and the surrounding streets have a history of problems with anti-social behaviour, "much of which is attributable to the street population and coincides with alcohol and drug misuse".

He said: “Problems such as rowdy and intimidating behaviour at all hours, aggressive begging and street urination are daily occurrences.

“The same individuals are regular customers of the drug dealers who operate overtly in our neighbourhood.”

TVP says all three shops have failed to promote the licensing objectives through insufficient measures to ensure due diligence or compliance with its licensing conditions.

It believe sales of super-strength cheap beers and ciders on Oxford Road is “fuelling incidents of alcohol related crime and disorder in the area”, and it is “of extreme concern and a priority for the Oxford Road residents and community to resolve this issue”.

And in its submission regarding Today’s Express, on 107 Oxford Road, TVP said it “strongly suspects” most individuals being sold super strength alcohol are already intoxicated.

Mr Bowyer said the safer neighbourhood forum is “delighted” that TVP is addressing the issues “head-on”.

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He said: “It’s understandable that licensing enforcement hasn’t been high on their priority list recently, but this new initiative, which forms part of a wider exercise, is very welcome.

“The local off-licenses have an obligation to support the licensing objectives, including the prevention of public nuisance and the prevention of crime and disorder.”

What can be done to improve the situation?

Mr Bowyer said the shops could improve the situation by limiting sales of single cans of beer and cider over six per cent.

He said: “A typical street drinker will obtain, often by begging, enough money for a single can, go to the nearest off license to buy it, and drink it immediately.

“Stopping sales of single cans helps to defeat this cycle. Premises that have voluntarily adopted this practice report a significant reduction in anti-social behaviour in the immediate area.”

He has also called on residents who are affected by the issues to contact Reading Borough Council’s (RBC) licensing team, obtain copies of the licensing review submission and submit their own representation.

Mr Bowyer added: “Representations from affected residents are valued and taken strongly into account.

“They needn’t worry about having to appear before the Licensing Applications committee unless that’s something they want to do.”