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Met Police calls for permanent closure of O2 Academy Brixton after crowd crush

Two people were killed as a result of a crush at the South London venue last December

By Nick Reilly

A police cordon outside the O2 Academy Brixton following the incident at an Asake gig (Picture: Alamy)

The O2 Academy Brixton could face permanent closure after the Metropolitan Police called for its licence to be revoked following a crowd crush last year which killed two people.

The renowned venue’s license was suspended by Lambeth Council for three months in January, after security guard Gaby Hutchinson, 23, and Rebecca Ikumelo, 33, were killed when a crush occurred among fans trying to force entry into a show by Nigerian singer Asake. A third person was also critically injured.

A decision on its license is yet to be made, but the issue will be discussed at a council sub-committee meeting next month.

The Metropolitan Police told PA news agency: “On Monday 16 January, the licence of the O2 Academy Brixton was suspended for three months.

“On 14 April, the Met police submitted an application for a review of [the] premises licence to Lambeth council and will be seeking a revocation of the licence. This matter will be decided at a future council sub-committee hearing on a date to be confirmed.”

A spokesperson for the venue’s owner, Academy Music Group (AMG), added to The Guardian: “AMG has cooperated fully with the Metropolitan police and Lambeth council since the tragedy at Brixton occurred.

“We have had regular meetings and discussions with the Metropolitan police and Lambeth council at which we have presented detailed proposals that we believe will enable the venue to reopen safely.”

“AMG has been awaiting feedback on those proposals for several weeks and looks forward to hearing from the police as soon as possible in constructive terms.”

A BBC News report earlier this year also claimed that bouncers were accepting bribes to allow “a couple of hundred” people without tickets to enter the venue.

As part of their investigation, the police have also set up an online portal for people to submit information, images or footage. It is thought that 4,000 witnesses were present at the time of the incident.