A newsagent that stocked illegal cigarettes, sold alcohol bought from a van and had problems with rats has lost its licence following a police review.

Brent Council revoked the licence of North Wembley News, in East Lane, due to several consistent breaches.

These included selling dodgy alcohol and cigarettes, which were seized by trading standards, and serious health and safety issues.

Police representatives also explained the shop was “covered in dust”, with evidence of rat droppings and urine stains near its stock.

Sergeant Damien Smith, of the Metropolitan Police, said: “I have no confidence in the current set up.

“I’ve been doing licensing for some years and I was shocked during the visits to this premises and the blatant disregard of the licensing objectives.

“We have a duty to the resident of this borough and to ensure their safety. I can’t see any improvements [at the site] and can only recommend an outright revocation.”

He noted that there was a single smoke alarm at the shop, as well as a dusty fire extinguisher that was last checked in 2012.

And the licence holder, Namasivayam Thirumal of VNG Retails Limited, continued to stock high strength beers despite several warnings that this was in breach of the licence conditions.

There were further concerns about the extent of staff training, a lack of panic button at the shop and no evidence of an incident logbook.

Shankar Sivashankar, the agent representing the shop, acknowledged his clients’ failings but said there is a desire to rectify the situation.

This, he explained, includes the introduction of a new designated premises supervisor and plans to remove the licence holders from the shop’s operations.

“We don’t have any excuses – this should not have happened, and things have fallen well below the standards expected by the responsible authorities,” he said.

“But the (illegal) alcohol has been removed and there are plans to retrain staff for the future.”

However, the council’s licensing committee said it could not ignore the past indiscretions and that it would be impossible to separate company directors from being in some way involved with the shop.

It expressed its concerns around hygiene and fire safety and said the licensees did “not understand their responsibilities”.

It rejected Mr Sivashankar’s suggestion of maintaining the licence with additional conditions and issued a revocation.