A councillor has warned of a link to crime and anti-social behaviour after bookmakers have applied to open two new betting shops in Hounslow .

Paddy Power and Betfred have applied to open new shops in Bath Road, Cranford , and Staines Road, Bedfont , respectively.

Cranford ward councillor Gurpal Virdi, who is a former police officer, has objected to Paddy Power’s application.

He wrote in his objection that Cranford already has two betting shops, which he said was more than enough for a small town, and does not need another one to replace what is currently a fish and chip shop.

READ MORE: The 'desperate' reality of life as a slot machine addict in Hounslow

“To allow another betting shop to open would be to expose more vulnerable and desperate people to the risks of gambling addiction and loss of money as well as the associated crime and antisocial behaviour these outlets attract,” wrote the Labour councillor.

He added that Cranford high levels of unemployment and deprivation made it a “key target area” for the gambling industry.

'To allow another betting shop to open would be to expose more vulnerable and desperate people to the risks of gambling addiction'

The Campaign for Fairer Gambling recently highlighted Hounslow town centre as a hot spot for the highly addictive fixed odds betting terminals, which have been dubbed he crack cochineal of gambling.

It says punters there lose £2.8m a year on the 44 such slot machines, with a maximum stake spread among 11 betting shops.

According to its licensing application, Paddy Power already has seven shops in the borough, while Betfred states it has 12, including one in Staines Road, Bedfont.

Paul's Fish Bar in Bath Road, Cranford, where Paddy Power wants to open a new betting shop

A Paddy Power spokesman said: "At a time when many high streets are facing challenges, Paddy Power Betfair's retail presence adds much needed vitality and footfall to localities around the country.

"We invest over £250,000 in each shop we open to create an environment where our customers can have the best entertainment experience on the high street. In addition each new shop provides an average of five jobs for local people.

"We also take seriously our approach to promoting responsible gambling and providing the staff training and customer support necessary to ensure that our customers continue to enjoy their experience betting and gaming with us."

getwestlondon has approached Betfred for a comment.

Both applications are due to be considered by Hounslow Council 's licensing panel.