Whistleblower alleges door staff regularly took bribes at Brixton Academy

A security guard at the O2 Brixton Academy has come forward to claim that other security guards routinely took bribes to allow fans into the arena without tickets.

The implication is that such a practice took place on December 15 last year, when two people died in a crush at the Stockwell Road venue following scenes of mayhem as fans tried to gain admission to see Afrobeats singer Asake.

Mum-of-two Rebecca Ikumelo, 33, and security guard Gaby Hutchinson, 23, both died from injuries sustained that fateful night.

There is no suggestion that Gaby Hutchinson, who worked for a secondary firm on the night, County Security, as a specialist dog handler, was among those taking bribes.

The whistleblower also claimed there were simply not enough security guards present for an event categorised as ‘high risk’ by the venue operators Academy Music Group (AMG).

He said it was usual for some members of his team to allow “a couple of hundred” extra people into venues in return for cash.

Speaking to the BBC, he said: “There were people taking money. Some staff made £1,000 cash.

“Our company knew what was going on and they knew the people who were doing it – and they did nothing about it.”

The insider claims that on the night of the Asake gig, fans without tickets were admitted, taking it above the safety capacity of 4,921 for what was a sold-out concert.

“When you let a few people in, they would text their friends and they’ll text their friends,” he said. “And the bouncers started getting greedy and it got out of hand. And people wanted to come in anyway, without a ticket.”

AP Security, which employs the security staff, has declined to comment.

But the source said there had previously been team briefings where the conduct of individuals had been brought up and conversations between managers and bouncers – without anyone being reprimanded.

He also said the official figure of 157 staff on duty is incorrect and that only 110 were present.

AMG has been approached for a comment by the South London Press but is yet to receive a response.

The venue will remain closed for the next three months while a full investigation into the events of that night are conducted.

Pictured above: The O2 Brixton Academy (Picture: Robert Firth)

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