MERRY Hill bosses have been quick to assure customers that their safety is the “absolute priority” after an alleged hammer attack on Saturday.

Shoppers fled the Brierley Hill shopping centre in horror after claiming they saw a man attacked with a hammer.

West Midlands Police have arrested a 16-year-old boy and charged him with possession of an offensive weapon in a public place following the incident, which saw a 17-year-old boy injured.

A statement has since been issued by the centre’s owners intu, which said: “West Midlands Police were called to an incident in Eat Central on May 12 just after 1pm.

“Our security staff responded immediately.

“The safety and security of everyone in our centre is of course our absolute priority and we are sorry for any distress that this may have caused.

“Incidents of this nature are rare and isolated, and we'd like to reassure our customers that we have well-rehearsed and flexible plans in place to deal with a range of incidents.

“Our team of highly trained security staff responded quickly to contain the incident.

“We are working closely with the police to support their investigation.”

The 17-year-old was taken to hospital after the incident on Saturday which took place in the food court.

Horrified shoppers tried to flee the scene and witnesses said they saw children knocked over and a lady knocked unconscious during the drama.