Firefighters face sack if discovered to have bullied or been racist, LFB boss says

Swathes of firefighters face the sack if they’re discovered to have bullied or been racist, misogynistic or homophobic, the London Fire Brigade chief has mentioned.

The fireplace service has “harmful ranges of ingrained prejudice towards girls”, whereas colleagues from minority backgrounds are “often the goal of racist abuse”, an impartial tradition assessment discovered.

Led by Nazir Afzal, a former chief crown prosecutor for the North West, it has accounts starting from girls being groped to individuals having their helmets stuffed with urine.

London Fire Commissioner Andy Roe informed a briefing at LFB headquarters on Saturday: “We are going to take a zero tolerance method to bullying and harassment and discrimination.

“What meaning, if we take into consideration the fast steps, is that I count on to dismiss individuals on account of this report.

“Clearly, there are some disturbing examples of the place we now have betrayed public confidence and belief on this report.”

Asked what number of may lose their jobs, he added: “If we discover that you’ve got behaved in a manner that’s highlighted on this report, there’s not a spot for you within the London Fire Brigade.

“In a manner the numbers don’t matter to me.”

He mentioned they should begin the method “instantly”, however there are not any estimates on how a lot it’ll value.

Asian Image: A London fire engineA London fireplace engine (Image: André Langlois)

Mr Afzal informed the PA information company: “We’re speaking manner past single figures and we’re in all probability speaking into dozens of people that have had complaints about them, who’ve been concerned in behaviours of this nature who in all probability outlived their time at London Fire Brigade.”

The report reveals incidents comparable to a black firefighter who was topic to racist bullying which culminated in somebody placing a mock noose above his locker.

The assessment additionally refers to a Muslim firefighter, bullied due to his religion, who had bacon put in his sandwich by his colleagues.

Over a interval of 10 months, a seven-strong crew led by Mr Afzal gathered proof of what individuals skilled of their working surroundings and the broader tradition that supported this.

A feminine firefighter informed the assessment that the brink for bullying is so excessive “you would need to gouge somebody’s eyes out to get sacked”, including: “Everything else is seen as banter.”

She mentioned she tells her feminine mates to not let male firefighters into their homes to test smoke alarms as a result of she says they undergo girls’s drawers on the lookout for underwear and intercourse toys.

In his conclusion, Mr Afzal mentioned: “My assessment discovered proof that helps a discovering that LFB is institutionally misogynist and racist.”

Mr Roe mentioned: “I’ve been in rooms the place individuals use frankly racist language, and I’ll name it out head on, I’ll clarify the way it made me really feel.

“I wished to have a dialog with individuals as a lot as something as a result of my expertise of that is that folks don’t even know they’re inflicting offence generally.”


The report, which makes 23 suggestions, is predicated on the experiences of a whole lot of employees members.

The assessment was established in response to the demise of firefighter Jaden Francois-Esprit, who took his personal life in August 2020.

His household had been involved that he had been bullied due to his race, the report mentioned.

Asked if he would meet with Jaden’s household, Mr Roe informed PA: “The supply is there to talk to Jaden’s household.

“I’ve spoken to them on multiple event.

“I’ve bought little doubt that that his household will need to sit down and speak to me once more and that will probably be at their comfort at a time that’s finest for them.”

He went on: “I’d apologise to them as I’ve once I met them beforehand, and I’d ask them if they may see the report because the catalyst for change this organisation wants and that report was pushed by the tragic demise of their son.

“So if there needs to be a legacy for Jaden then let or not it’s that he was the explanation we referred to as this report in such a manner and let his legacy be certainly one of change.”

Gareth Cook, of the Fire Brigades Union, mentioned: “Our guidelines and insurance policies require each FBU member to deal with others with dignity and respect and to problem offensive behaviour of any variety.

“The union is dedicated to equality. We marketing campaign towards all discrimination by gender, race or ethnicity, sexuality, age, incapacity and faith or perception. We have an extended document of campaigning on such points.

“However, we now have raised issues about lots of the points contained inside this report traditionally and as a consequence we stay sceptical concerning the adjustments senior leaders will implement almost about their very own behaviours.”

London Mayor Sadiq Khan mentioned on Twitter: “The findings of the London Fire Brigade assessment have to be nothing in need of a watershed second for the Brigade.

“The particulars revealed are abhorrent. Londoners have been let down they usually have each proper to be offended – as I’m.”



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