by Rob Smith
South Yorkshire Police contacted the Messenger claiming they have reliable intelligence of Class A drug dealing and firearms in and around the Gower Arms, Earsham Street.
Inspector Jon Ekwubiri of South Yorkshire Police explained:
“This has led to guns being discharged, violence and the intimidation of everyday people who frequent this establishment and live in the vicinity.This behaviour, by a small minority, has resulted in a cordial meeting with the management team of the Gower and conditions were mutually agreed, with a view to addressing the problem.” Inspector Ekwubiri went on to say: “We are not malicious and are giving the Gower management an opportunity to address this issue by demanding they install more security and surveillance systems.”
The Gower management have been told their CCTV system must include two cameras outside and those inside must be upgraded. The Inspector said:
“The equipment is inadequate and does not reach South Yorkshire Police specifications and the management have been given a leaflet concerning this.”
Door staff at the Gower
“The Gower Arms must have two Security Industry Authority registered door staff in place every weekend by Friday 3rd November. That means searching all patrons before they enter the building,” added Inspector Ekwubiri.
The Gower management have been told that failing to comply with the proposals may result in the police objecting to any further licensing, which is due for review shortly. The police would also consider immediate closure of the premises under ‘crack house closure legislation’.
The management of the Gower say this is not helping their business because they cannot afford to employ doormen to search people or replace what they see as a visible and working surveillance system. Staff members at the Gower vehemently dispute ever having seen or heard any gunshots or displays of guns inside or outside their premises.