A new kebab shop will open on Park End Street, despite opposition by the police.
Bodrum Kebab Shop, which has been open on Cowley Road for 23 years, has gained permission from Oxford City Council to open a new branch on a street already notorious for drunken behaviour. Police officers warned against the plan, which they said could become “a gathering place for intoxicated and potentially disruptive behaviour”.
However, Sajjad Malik, partner in the scheme and city councillor, disagreed with the police’s concerns. He could not recall an incident in 23 years when police had had to be called at Bodrum on Cowley Road, another hotspot for drunken nightlife. “Our record on the safety and security of our customers and our community speak for itself,” he said.
Malik described his aim to use this new branch to set an example, hiring doormen on busy nights and taking a more active role in ensuring the security of the local area: “We want to be part of a community, we want to work, we want to create an establishment where community and local people are happy with us, police are happy with us, and the partners are happy”. Staff will also help by clearing litter on the neighbouring streets.
2,000 people spill out of clubs at closing time on Park End Street, and police and residents alike are concerned that the shop will give people a place to congregate and become a “honeypot” for rowdy behaviour. “We don’t intoxicate them, they come from late bars and clubs, so if police have an issue they should go and target the licensed premises selling alcohol,” Malik said. “Police can have their concerns but once we are operational they will see that we will set a precedent.”
Second year history and economics student Dougie Sloan embraced the news of the kebab shop: “There’s nothing quite like eating 4000 calories after a night on the cheese floor.”
Pembroke student Emma McNulty emphasized the hygienic aspects of eating kebabs from a shop: “It’ll limit the amount of food poisoning people can get from dodgy vans.”
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