VAGRANTS and street drinkers could be attracted to a new supermarket opening next week if it is allowed to sell high-strength lager and cider, according to police.
A licensing hearing due to be held today will decide whether conditions should be imposed on the Tesco Metro store in The Vale, Acton, which will throw open its doors for the first time on Monday.
The outlet will employ 80 people.
Police are anxious that the new 10,000 sq ft supermarket will open from 7am six days a week and are asking that no booze should be sold before 9am, with cheap drinks of more than 5.5 per cent alcohol banned.
Licensing sergeant Nigel Charlton said: "This area of Acton has a high rate of reported motor vehicle crime, theft and robbery and is frequented by vagrants and street drinkers."
He added: "It has been proven that high strength but cheap lagers, beers and ciders contribute to this problem.
"If the premises do not stock these cheap high strength lagers then the problem will be lessened or displaced."
Strict CCTV and security measures have also been requested.
Ealing Council's licensing committee was due to decide at 10am today whether conditions should be imposed on the store's licence.
In a statement to the committee, Tesco licensing manager Greg Bartley said: "We have held off-licences in our stores for many years and are an approved British Institute of Inn-keeping examination centre.
"We have written training policies and formal training programmes in place, which ensure our people are equipped to meet all licensing objectives."
He added that all stores have operated a 'think 21' policy since 2004.
Manager Emma Galloway said: "We recruited them through the local job centre and I'm delighted with my new team.
"We look forward to playing an active role in the local community.
"We are excited about welcoming customers to their new store and hope that they are pleased with it."
The store will open from 7am to 11pm on week days, 7am to 10pm on Saturdays and 11am to 5pm on Sundays.