Walsall pub could lose licence over Covid breaches

A Walsall hotel and pub could lose its licence over alleged Covid breaches – and complaints of trouble and anti-social behaviour.

King George V pub in Wallows Lane, Walsall. Photo: Google
King George V pub in Wallows Lane, Walsall. Photo: Google

West Midlands Police have called for a review of the licence of King George V, in Wallows Lane, following a string of reported incidents at the premises.

These include fighting outside the premises, the venue operating outside of permitted hours through lock-ins and neighbours being disturbed by noise from customers leaving in the early hours of the morning.

Pub bosses are also accused of committing Covid regulation breaches on a number of occasions during 2020 such as poor social distancing, a lack of face masks and a failure to abide by table service only rules.

Police and Walsall Council licensing officers said they spoke with designated premises supervisor Raman Singh and Admiral Taverns, which owns the pub, a number of times to address issues.

One of the incidents involved a Christmas Eve gathering where police found two members of staff and six customers – from five different households – in the bar breaching Covid rules. Mr Singh was hit with a fixed penalty notice.

Chief Superintendent Andy Parsons, of Walsall Police, said they had no confidence in the management of the pub and are calling for the licence to be revoked at a licensing sub committee hearing on Monday (March 15).

He said: “The grounds for this review repeated failures of the DPS to work within the confines of the premises licence, the boundaries of statutory nuisance together with his mismanagement of procedures throughout the Covid pandemic.

“This has been through the premises not following the regulation, which is a criminal offence, but also breaching the extensive guidance designed to help premises operate in a Covid secure manner.

“This has happened to a level that it is placing an increased risk of infection to the staff, customers attending, officers that need to enforce and the wider community.

“West Midlands Police can see this has only been done for the purpose of profit and financial gain at a time when other premises, both locally and nationally, have been abiding by the rules in spite of the financial hardship this has caused them.”

The police’s licence review has been backed by Walsall Council’s environmental health and community protection teams.

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