Greggs in row with Met Police over late night sausage rolls at flagship Leicester Square bakery

·3-min read
Greggs in row with Met Police over late night sausage rolls at flagship Leicester Square bakery

Greggs faces a battle with police over the late night sale of sausage rolls at its flagship Leicester Square shop.

The bakery chain wants permission to serve hot food 24 hours a day in it’s new West End location, which currently closes at 11pm.

However, police and Westminster councillors have rallied against the plans.

PC Adam Deweltz wrote to the town hall licensing committee saying the force believes a late night licence will add to “crime and disorder” in the world famous tourist destination.

“The Metropolitan Police, as a responsible authority, is making a representation against this application,” he said.

“It is our belief that if granted, the application could undermine the licensing objectives in relation to the prevention of crime and disorder. The hours [Greggs] seek are also beyond that of Westminster’s core hours policy.”

Resident groups have also complained about the plans.

“I strongly object to the proposed all-night opening times,” one resident said in a statement to Westminster council.

“I believe that this will encourage intoxicated patrons of this retailer lingering in the vicinity late at night and potentially causing a public nuisance. The plan does not allow any seating areas for customers to consume their purchases. It is essentially a sausage roll factory ‘plonked’ in the middle of the West End.”

Greggs Leicester Square opened earlier in July with a glitzy “blue carpet premiere”.

The majority of the food sold by the pastry shop, including its famous pasties, is made at industrial bakeries and then re-heated in store.

Shops do not need a licence to sell them because they are not kept hot in shops.

However other cooked products, such as bacon and sausage breakfast rolls, as well as tea and coffee drinks, need special permission from the local authority to be sold after 11pm.

Greggs said customers could become “confused” if its full menu was not available to them after 11pm and would be more likely to cause trouble.

In its submission to Westminster’s Licensing Committee, which is meeting on Friday, the company said: “One of the concerns Greggs has is that if they are unable to offer their full range and a customer wants, for example, a coffee with their sandwich or doughnut, or some potato wedges, they may become more confused and argumentative or disruptive in store if they are able to access the full range of goods before 11pm but are unable to do so after 11pm.

“Customers do not understand licensing laws.”

Greggs said it does not have any trouble at its other two late night stores, which are both in Newcastle.

The company added it would employ security guards wearing body cameras at the Leicester Square location to ensure customer safety.

The three Conservative councillors in St James’s ward, which covers Leicester Square, also contested the proposal for the company to sell its full range of food 24 hours a day.

In a statement they said: “Whilst [Greggs] has recognised some of the challenges faced by fast food / takeaway premises in the Leicester Square area... we do not think that this sufficient to mitigate the cumulative impact of the premises opening 24 hours a day especially during the hours late at night and early morning.”

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