IPCC finds Northamptonshire Police involvement in Lava & Ignite nightclub crush was ‘appropriate’

Police at the scene of a fatal crush at the Lava & Ignite nightclub
Police at the scene of a fatal crush at the Lava & Ignite nightclub

An Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) investigation into Northamptonshire police involvement during a fatal crush at the former Lava and Ignite nightclub has found every police officer’s actions on the night were appropriate.

The IPCC report states that it was “more than likely” that police had not been informed of the ‘Wickedest Wickedest’ event the nightclub was holding, and were only alerted when a large number of people began arriving at the nightclub around 11pm on October 18, 2011.

Following a severe crush as people began leaving the nightclub in the early hours of October 19, many were injured and two young women died.

Nabila Nanfuka, aged 22, died in hospital of her injuries and Laurene-Danielle Jackson, aged 19, died in hospital of her injuries on November 6.

Northamptonshire Police referred the incident to the IPCC, which investigated whether or not police had known the event was due to take place, and whether the actions they took during the incident were appropriate.

The investigation found that the management of the Lava & Ignite night club did not inform police of the ‘Wickedest Wickedest’ event prior to its taking place and stated that it was “more likely than not” that because the club management considered the 2010 event to have been successful, they did not alert police to the 2011 event.

The IPCC report states that coaches began arriving in St Peters Way car park from 9pm onwards, bringing students, their friends and others, from universities around the country.

The management at the club were expecting a capacity crowd of 1,600 and, at 10.50pm, Northamptonshire Police were made aware by staff at a nearby venue.

After an emergency call was made shortly after 3am, police officers entered the foyer area of the club, went upstairs and attempted to rescue people who had fallen to the floor and were being trampled.

Police officers administered resuscitation to the most seriously injured including two females, and subsequently transferred their care to paramedics.

IPCC Commissioner Derrick Campbell said: “The deaths of Nabila and Laurene-Danielle were a tragedy and my thoughts are with their families as they continue to cope with their loss.

“I am confident that every police officer involved took the right actions, and contributed as effectively as they could to policing the incident.”