Councillors could make it harder for shops to sell alcohol in an area of Barnet blighted by crime and anti-social behaviour.

The council’s licensing committee will this week consider proposals to limit the number of shops and other venues given alcohol licences in Burnt Oak, Edgware.

It is thought a special licensing zone could help tackle the social problems caused by people drinking too much alcohol – particularly in the evenings and at weekends.

Councillors will consider a range of evidence before deciding whether to roll-out the zone – dubbed a cumulative impact zone – in Burnt Oak.

A report by council officers states that Burnt Oak had the highest rate of alcohol-related violent crime in Barnet borough during the last 12 months.

It adds that alcohol-related ambulance callouts, alcohol-related crimes and alcohol-related anti-social behaviour hotspots occur close to premises licensed to sell alcohol.

General crime in the area rose by 8 per cent quarter-on-quarter despite a slight drop in anti-social behaviour, according to the latest figures from the Metropolitan Police.

Burnt Oak is the second-highest ward for calls to the London Ambulance Service (2,354 calls between Jan and Oct 2018), but the fifth-largest in the number of alcohol-related calls.

Licensing committee decisions are guided by four objectives: the prevention of crime and disorder, public safety, the prevention of public nuisance and the protection of children from harm.

The council report states there appears to be a link between a rise in the number of premises licensed to sell alcohol in Burnt Oak and a “detrimental impact on licensing objectives”.

Barnet Council last year

gave police extra powers to combat street drinking in Burnt Oak

that mean offenders can now be prosecuted and forced to pay fines of up to £1,000.

The licensing committee will meet at Hendon Town Hall on Thursday (May 2) at 7pm.