Police oppose new boss at troubled Sheffield city centre bar

The Empire bar,Sheffield
The Empire bar,Sheffield
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POLICE are opposing a new premises supervisor from taking over a troubled Sheffield bar - because they say he has been “uncooperative” with officers in the past.

An objection has been made on behalf of South Yorkshire Chief Constable Med Hughes and Insp Neil Mutch, who oversees city centre policing, to the application to install Mohammed Jangir in the role at Empire Bar, in Charter Square.

In an email to Sheffield Council’s licensing board, South Yorkshire Police said: “The grounds of objection are based on the prevention of crime and disorder. Mr Jangir has previously managed other premises in the area and has proven to be unco-operative with the police.

“Given that the premises licence has recently been suspended for three months, we feel it is essential for the designated premises supervisor to work in partnership with police in order to uphold licensing objectives.”

The licensing board will meet to discuss the police objections tomorrow.

Mr Jangir, chosen by Empire’s owner David Hezcko to run the premises if they are allowed to reopen, used to work with brother Mohammed Tanwir running Club Element and the Fez Club, across the road. The venues closed amid problems with gang violence in 2004.

Mr Jangir and Mr Tanwir were criticised by police at the time, who accused them of failing to co-operate with officers to rid Element of people responsible for three stabbings, a mass reprisal attack thwarted by armed police and a shooting.

Officers had asked the brothers to close down and said no action would be taken against them if they agreed.

But, at the time, Mr Jangir and Mr Tanwir were reported as saying they feared reprisals from gangs and declined to close for financial reasons.

Supt Martin Hemmingway said he was “astonished” the brothers would not close.

Mr Tanwir said he and his brother gave “total co-operation” to police while running Element and won a High Court appeal against the venue’s closure by Sheffield Council’s licensing board.

The concerns about Mr Jangir were raised a fortnight ago by current licensing board chairman Coun Clive Skelton.

Empire had its licence suspended after a series of assaults, the stabbing of a 17-year-old boy on Christmas Eve and drug dealing witnessed by undercover police officers.

The licensing board was concerned customers, including members of Sheffield’s gang scene, were frequenting the bar after the closure of Niche nightclub and former Niche doormen were working at Empire.