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'Drugs, weapons and gangs': West Bromwich pub is to shut for good

Sandwell | News | Published:

A trouble-hit pub which was temporarily closed down after police claimed it had been taken over by a gang will stay shut.

Senior officers said the Star and Garter in West Bromwich town centre had become a 'no-go zone' due to drugs and weapons on the premises.

The pub was initially closed for a 30-day period after having its licence suspended in August.

But Sandwell Council has confirmed it has not received a request for it to re-open and it is understood there are no plans to bring it back.

West Midlands Police took action over the High Street venue following a number of high-profile incidents.

Chiefs said they were concerned someone could be seriously hurt or killed.

Officers had pushed for its licence to be revoked but councillors decided to suspend it instead. The pub has remained closed ever since.

A running knife battle in the town centre and another incident when a group of men were threatened with a gun were both said to have been linked to the pub.

West Bromwich councillor Bawa Dhallu said its closure could be the best outcome for the town.

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He said: "We don't want that sort of thing in West Bromwich town centre and if the police are happy with it then so am I.

"It's a thriving town centre and we want people to come and live here and use the shops. They don't want to see things like that."

The closure of the Star and Garter means another pub has disappeared from the Black Country. But Councillor Dhallu said the venue was no longer somewhere families could enjoy a drink.

He said: "I would rather lose the pub than have all that trouble. That's my feeling."

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Councillor Peter Allen, who is head of the council's licensing committee, said: "The last I heard, it was staying shut and was potentially looking to be demolished as it is in a prime location for development.

"The police are pleased that's the outcome. It was not necessarily how it was being run but all the bad stuff that was going on around the pub.

"The gang association would have got worse rather than better because that's what has happened in other places."

At the hearing in August, licensing bosses were told a man was stabbed in the back behind the old Public building in May before heading to the Star and Garter as blood poured from him.

The pub was raided in June when almost £2,000 worth of cannabis was found in a speaker, while a customer was found in possession of a pocket knife with an 11cm blade.

Pub owners PH UK Properties said in August that management had been removed.

No one was available to comment on the latest development.

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