London firefighters took special action after an investigation found he was ‘institutionally misogynistic and racist’

The London Fire Brigade (LFB) has been placed under special measures by a watchdog after an investigation found the brigade to be ‘institutionally misogynistic and racist’.

The LFB will now face an “enhanced level of scrutiny” by inspectors, according to Her Majesty’s Police and Fire and Rescue Services Inspectorate.

It comes after a independent review published last month found that the LFB has a “toxic culture that allows bullying and abuse”.

The review found that firefighters have ‘dangerous levels of ingrained bias against women’, while colleagues from minority backgrounds are ‘often the target of racist abuse’.

A black firefighter had a noose above his locker while a female firefighter said she advised her friends not to let male firefighters into the house to check smoke detectors because they are “rummaging through women’s drawers looking for underwear and sex toys”.

In another incident, a Muslim man had bacon and sausage stuffed in his coat pockets and a terrorist hotline sign was posted on his locker.

The watchdog said the LFB has been subjected to special measures ‘because there is cumulative evidence from its last inspection and subsequently of unacceptable behavior within the brigade, including discrimination and l ‘intimidation.

“This was flagged as a cause for concern by the inspectorate in July this year.”

The values ​​and behaviors to which the brigade “aspires are not always demonstrated by senior leaders, and the brigade needs to do more to demonstrate progress in improving its culture,” the inspection added.

The watchdog continuously monitors the performance of fire services in England and Wales, placing brigades into special measures – also known as the ‘commitment’ process – when concerns arise from its inspections .

Fire and Rescue Services Inspector Matt Parr said putting the brigade in special measures ‘provides additional review of the brigade’s plans and support for them from across the fire sector’ .

“We will now be reviewing the London Fire Department’s improvement plans more frequently and more intrusively, and working closely with the brigade to monitor its progress.”

He added: “We must acknowledge that the recent cultural review of London firefighters was commissioned by the brigade, whose management accepted its findings without reservation.

“However, it is clear that the behavioral issues we highlighted earlier this year are deeply rooted and have not improved.”

Read more:
London firefighters are ‘institutionally misogynistic and racist’
London firefighters ‘toxic culture’ – where abuse is disguised as ‘jokes’

London Fire Marshal Andy Roe said: “I recognized that the culture at LFB needed to improve which is why I commissioned the independent culture review and took immediate action when its publication last month.

“Our external complaints department supports colleagues, and a zero-tolerance approach to discrimination, harassment and bullying means that all staff know what behaviors are not tolerated.

“Change is happening now, and the face-to-face meetings I’ve had with firefighters and other staff show there’s a passion to make sure our culture works for everybody.

“We welcome the additional support through the inspection’s enhanced monitoring program and I look forward to working with them and other partners to monitor progress and changes in the future.”

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