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Lambeth Council confirms details of health and safety investigation following last year’s Brixton Academy crowd crush

By | Published on Tuesday 11 April 2023

Lambeth Council last week announced that the former CEO of Wandsworth Borough Council is leading a health and safety investigation into the fatal crowd crush incident that occurred at London’s Brixton Academy late last year.

Two people died as a result of the crowd crush, which happened during a sell out show by Asake. The venue has been closed ever since, with Lambeth Council – as the local authority overseeing the Brixton Academy – suspending its licence while London’s Metropolitan Police got going with its investigation into the circumstances that led to the incident.

In a new statement, the council confirmed that “as an important part of investigations into the tragic crush at the [Brixton] Academy on 15 Dec last year which claimed the lives of two people and left a third in a critical condition, Lambeth Council is undertaking a thorough health and safety review”.

“The council has appointed experienced former council chief executive Paul Martin to independently lead the council’s health and safety investigation into the incident”, it added. “He has been working closely with the Metropolitan Police on this important work since the start of the year”.

In addition to the review, the council said it is “also reviewing licensable activities at the venue” in light of last December’s incident.

The local authority’s CEO Bayo Dosunmu stated: “We are very mindful of the profound impact this incident has had on many people who were present at the [Brixton] Academy on that night and on the family and loved ones of the two people who tragically lost their lives that evening, and the person that remains in a critical condition”.

“In order that Lambeth Council rigorously and independently investigates what happened on that evening, I have asked one of London’s most experienced former chief executives to lead on the health and safety investigation on behalf of the council, working closely with the Metropolitan Police. My commitment is to ensure that this is investigated thoroughly”.

“I appreciate that the [Brixton] Academy is an iconic and much loved venue, and the impact of the current closure will be felt keenly by many people in Brixton and further afield”, he went on. “However, we are acutely aware of our fundamental health and safety responsibility, and that this consideration overrides all others. We will provide updates on the situation as this develops”.

As well as spending more than ten years as CEO of Wandsworth Borough Council, Martin also had stints as CEO of the councils for the London boroughs of Sutton, Richmond-upon-Thames and Ealing.