London Fire Brigade has been accused of having a culture of “racism, bullying and misogyny” in a bombshell investigative report. The report titled the Independent Cultural Review of London Fire Brigade likely to be publically announced on Saturday was exclusively obtained by The Times.
The 88-page report shares the anecdotes of the firefighters who faced “racism, bullying and misogyny” and will unveil the “toxic culture” in Britain’s largest fire service.
The report cites a case of Sophie (name changed), a female firefighter, who faced “taunts” from her male colleagues over her weight every time she walked past them.
The report claimed that “they would taunt her about her weight by imitating the sound of a truck reversing.”
Even she recalled a time at LFB when her helmet was filled with urine, and she found herself zipped inside a body bag as part of a practical joke.
The horrifying experiences at the LFB eventually led to her being diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Nazir Afzal, the former chief crown prosecutor in the Rochdale grooming gang case, conducted the independent review of the London Fire Brigade (LFB).
Mr Afzal and his team conducted 250 interviews with former and current staff as well as a dozen focus groups.
More than 100 written submissions were received and surveys completed by 1,672 employees.
According to The Times, the details in the report include ablack employee finding a noose above his locker, while a Muslim firefighter had a terrorism hotline sticker placed near his belongings.
In a statement released tonight the brigade said it was taking immediate action after the recommendations made in the report. LFB commissioner Andy Roe said: “Today is a very sobering day.
“There is no place for discrimination, harassment and bullying in the brigade and from today it will be completely clear to all staff what behaviour isn’t acceptable and what the consequences will be.
“ I am deeply sorry for the harm that has been caused.”
Mr Roe said he would be “fully accountable for improving our culture” and said he would accept all of the recommendations in the review.
The report makes a series of recommendations, including zero tolerance for workplace bullying, and a review of past complaints and mechanisms to make it safer to report bullying, racism, misogyny and homophobia.