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Police urged to 'keep close eye' as trouble-plagued Wednesbury pub reopens this weekend

Police have been urged to "keep a close eye" on a trouble-plagued Wednesbury pub when it reopens for the first time in six months this weekend.

Seven Bar, in Lower High Street, Wednesbury, is reopening

Seven Bar was shut down in June following a series of violent incidents, including stabbings, hammer attacks, robbery and attempted murder.

It is due to reopen on Saturday after Sandwell Council granted it temporary event notices (TENs) for four weekends in the run-up to Christmas.

Veteran publican Anthony Melia, whose bid for a full licence to reopen was rejected last month, has vowed to make the Lower High Street venue an "unwelcome" place for troublemakers.

But Wednesbury councillor Pete Hughes has warned it could be a "mistake" to reopen the pub, and called on West Midlands Police to be on the lookout for any signs of trouble.

He said: "The pub has got to be watched and scrutinised very carefully what to see what goes on. The police have got to keep a close eye on the place and if there is any trouble then the appropriate action must be taken.

"I'm all for a night-time economy, but this pub has been the scene of absolute mayhem. Wednesbury is my town, and that pub has given the town a very bad name.

"If they think they are capable of running the place without trouble then they have really got to show it."

Councillor Hughes added: "Actions speak louder than words, so let's see how it performs, because at some stage the people who caused trouble are going to come back.

"This could be a mistake. We can't have people being put in danger, as has happened in the past, and we can't have people who live around Lower High Street having their quality of life damaged to the extent it has been over the last couple of years.

"If the trouble carries on I will be speaking with the owner to have it closed completely and another use found for it."

Mr Melia, who plans to run the bar under its former name, The Turk's Head, said he hoped the TENs would prove the bar could be run "trouble-free".

An appeal hearing over the licensing committee's decision to reject the venue's application for a full licence is scheduled for next week.

West Midlands Police opposed reopening Seven Bar after officers attended 26 times in a year to deal with reports of serious violence.

The force said reopening it would "seriously undermine the prevention of crime and disorder".

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