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The Bell Hotel: Stourbridge pub told to tighten security after man glassed during vicious brawl

By Annabal Bagdi | Stourbridge | News | Published:

Landlords of an historic pub have been forced to tighten-up security after a vicious brawl erupted at the venue.

The Bell Hotel, in Stourbridge

Stourbridge’s Bell Hotel came under scrutiny after a punter was left nursing serious injuries at the Market Street pub last October.

But police were unable to prosecute the perpetrator as CCTV at the pub had been switched off and staff failed to alert emergency services.

Dudley councillors have now agreed that the premises can remain open but said pub bosses must follow a set of stringent conditions put forward by police.

Speaking at Dudley council’s licensing sub-committee, Stourbridge town centre ward councillor Nicholas Barlow said: “I think the concerns that have been raised highlight there has been a failure to understand the obligations that staff have. In my view, ignorance is no excuse.”

West Midlands Police requested the pub’s licence be reviewed after an altercation broke out in the pub on October 22, the committee heard.

The victim needed hospital treatment after being assaulted with a glass or bottle in the early hours of the morning.

Body cameras

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Door staff removed people from the pub, with members of the public and the operator of the council’s CCTV calling emergency services when a fight then began in the street.

But the force’s licensing and regulatory officer Donna Jenkins said the attack was not captured on CCTV as the system had failed to record anything since August 24. She said a female suspect was arrested at the scene, adding: “During this time, no call was made by the venue to the police. Without CCTV, this incident can’t be progressed.”

Mrs Jenkins went on to say it became clear the pub supervisor had ‘no understanding of the licensing obligations’ or staff responsibilities during a follow-up meeting.

Karen Cochrane, representing Marstons, which took over the pub last January, said the incident was a one-off and the company had since changed its supervisor. She added: “It is always very disappointing to hear there has been a serious incident in any pub.”

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Pub staff must now comply with 11 conditions, including having a CCTV system which is satisfactory to the police and getting at least two members of door staff to wear body cameras.

Drinks cannot be served in a glass after 11pm, there must be a first aider on site during each shift and punters need to have a bag and body search before entering.

The pub’s current licence allows it to serve alcohol and hold entertainment until 2am from Thursday to Sunday, and until midnight from Monday to Wednesday.

Annabal Bagdi

By Annabal Bagdi
@AnnabalB_Star

Senior reporter based at head office in Wolverhampton.

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