The story I ran last week about the closure of The Lagoon public house in Tipton and its links with the BNP, which include it having been run for the last couple of years by Councillor James Lloyd, the leader of the BNP group on Sandwell Council, appears to have ‘legs’, as they say in the newspaper business, having found its way into the Sunday Mercury, yesterday (not online as yet) and poped up briefly on the this morning’s local news BBC news report (and, so I’m told, on Radio WM).
To make matters even more interesting, the Mercury has managed to add a little more depth to the story and, in doing do, offered an explanation for Tom Watson’s obvious puzzlement as to why it was that he wasn’t aware that an ‘assassination attempt’ had been mounted on a parliamentary candidate in the constitutency next door.
He didn’t know because neither the machete attack or the shooting that took place in the pub were actually reported to the Police by the pub’s licencee (Councillor James Lloyd) – the Police only found out about these attacks through what the Mercury describes as local ‘gossip’.
The Mercury also alleges that, despite apparently being the target of both attacks, Councillor Lloyd not only failed to report them to the Police but was also rather uncooperative when the Police did start to take an interest in these incidents, in the first instance by stalling when the Police requested CCTV footage of the incidents from the pub’s security camera and, a little later on, by refusing outright to assist the police with their inquiries.
Now, while I’d be lying if I didn’t admit to the existence of a school of thought amongst some Tipton locals that takes the view that if the BNP want to go around shooting each other then far be it for us to intervene, so far as one can tell from the media pick-up since I flagged up the BNP’s connection to this particular pub, it would seem as though the two individuals who tried to shoot Councillor Lloyd are still at large in the local area and still, one would think, in possession of the illegal firearm used in the attack – and Councillor Lloyd appears to be entirely unwilling to offer the police any support or assistance, whatsoever, in their efforts to apprehend his assailants and,, therefore, protect the local community from the possibilty that this firearm could be used in further criminal activity…
…and yet the BNP’s claim is that they are ‘Tough on the causes of crime – Criminals’
Not in Tipton, they’re not…
One quick correction to make, now that the Mercury article has appeared online – it seems that despite Councillor Lloyd’s lack of cooperation – he refused even to give the Police a statement – the Police did successfully manage to charge two brothers with affray after gun attack.
However, although the Police caught the individual responsible for the machete attack, they were unable to bring charges due to Lloyd’s refusal to cooperate:
The final straw for West Midlands Police came in November when they were tipped off that a man had threatened people in the pub with a machete.
The attacker was caught but no charges were brought because Mr Lloyd again refused to make a statement or hand over CCTV footage.
Police officers claim that he made numerous excuses about being unable to download the evidence – before refusing to release it at all.
And as is also revealed in the article, the Police had some choice things to say about Councillor Lloyd in their report to the licencing committee.
In a report to the licensing committee of Sandwell Council last week, the force stated: “West Midlands Police are seeking revocation of the premises licence.
“Jamie Lloyd, being both the licence holder and designated premises supervisor, has repeatedly failed to meet licensing objectives in relation to crime and disorder and public safety by not reporting incidents of serious crime and disorder as they occur and not supporting prosecutions by refusing to provide witness statements or supply available CCTV evidence.
“He appears to have little or no concern for the safety of his customers in general.”
Or, indeed, the local community whom he, ostensibly, serves as a councillor – remember the pub is (or rather was) in the same ward for which Lloyd was elected to Sandwell Council.
In light of this information, one cannot but agree with the assessment given by another local councillor, Derek Rowley, who hold overall responsibility for community safety:
“He has not only failed as a councillor but simply as a decent member of the public,” said Coun Rowley.
“The police had every right to object to his licence and the brewery had no option but to sack him.
“It was his duty as a licensee to provide police with the CCTV footage they required and he should have behaved as any other responsible citizen would.
“His behaviour has been outrageous and I think he should do the honourable thing and resign from the council.
“The people of Tipton will be glad to see the back of the place.”
Amen to that…