London’s Metropolitan Police have submitted an application for review of the O2 Brixton Academy’s licence to Lambeth Council and will be seeking a revocation following the crowd surge at the venue in December last year, in which two people lost their lives and put others in a critical condition.
Speaking to Total Security Briefing Kieran Mackie (pictured), Managing Director at security specialist Amulet, said that to close the iconic venue would be a shame, and that the issue lies in inadequate funding and training of security staff to be able to handle such situations.
He called for police and the venue operators to work together to restore the Academy to be the great, fun venue it has always maintained its great reputation for.
“This announcement from the MET Police is sad to hear as O2 Academy Brixton is an iconic venue,” said Mackie. “In my opinion, this is an example of why we need tighter legislation and better training of security personnel to reduce the risk of incidents like this.
“The outcome of the incident in December shouldn’t be the closing of venues through the withdrawal of licences, it should be the Police and the venue working together with the security company to provide better training, guidance, and service provision to ensure that the venue is safe rather than shutting it down all together. I am sure if correctly staffed and managed by a responsible well trained security team, the venue could be operated safely for many more years to come.
“The issue is that margins are tight in the security industry and people look to provide the minimum they can to make venues safe and keep costs low. Having the correct number of staff and ensuring that all security employees are trained correctly and briefed fully on the venue and the event should be the bare-minimum requirement, not an aspiration.”