Two men stabbed in a Northampton bar over Christmas were London gang members known to the Metropolitan Police, it has been revealed.
One of the men nearly died in the attack in the toilets at Momo, in Abington Street, on December 27, after being stabbed in the kidney and suffering a punctured lung.
But police said nobody would be prosecuted, as neither victim was willing to co-operate with them, and the club’s CCTV quality was too poor to identify those involved. The men, aged 18 and 19, are known to the Met’s Operation Trident team, which deals with gang violence and gun crime in the capital.
Police initially said the weapon used in the attack was unknown, but medical experts have since confirmed the injuries were consistent with a knife wound.
The second man was not seriously injured in the incident, which was at a private event and was not organised by Momo.
The club has now installed a better quality CCTV system and pledged to stop using outside promoters, even though it will cost them up to £25,000 in takings from five events it had already booked.
Councillors applied a number of conditions to the club’s licence at a meeting at the Guildhall on Tuesday.
Pc Dave Bryan, from Northamptonshire Police, told the meeting: “Both people who were stabbed are not co-operating with police for various reasons, and the prosecution is not being taken forward.
“They are gang members from London, who are known to Operation Trident.
“That is why the review was called and why we think there were some failings by the management.”
Pc Bryan’s colleague, Sgt Mark Worthington, said the man was stabbed in the kidney, suffered a punctured lung, had three slash wounds across his face and had to have blood drained from his heart.
The CCTV footage recovered was black and white, and only shadows were visible, Sgt Worthington said.
“It was very serious and could have been a lot worse. The forensic opportunities from the club are very, very low,” he added.
The conditions imposed by Northampton Borough Council’s licensing committee included the requirement for a better CCTV system, including at the toilet entrance; mandatory use of door staff after 10pm, and checking one-in- four customers for weapons in any 15-minute period.
Simon Moore, from Momo, said violent incidents were not a concern on a day-to-day basis at the bar.
Mr Moore told a licensing meeting: “The police are rarely called to the bar. We pride ourselves on that and you can understand what a big deal this is for us.
“It was a promoter we had used five or six times before, without any incidents. We feel upto this incident, Momo had a good reputation and we have already been punished.
“We do lose a certain amount of control at ticketed events.
“We had five events booked for this year and they have all been cancelled. I would rather lose the money than have this happen again.”
Police had initially asked for the licence to be suspended, but this was rejected by councillors.