Home UK News Male firefighters said they would ‘rape female colleague’

Male firefighters said they would ‘rape female colleague’

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fire and rescue services misconduct

Following Baroness Casey’s Review of the Metropolitan Police, His Majesty’s Inspector of Fire & Rescue Services has published a review that exposes a ‘deeply concerning’ culture within England’s fire and rescue services.

Making a mockery of new recruits, pretending to rape female colleagues, demanding that the women play ‘domesticated’ roles, and using racist language to ‘have a laugh’ are amongst the findings of Roy Wilsher’s report.

The “deeply troubling” report has “shocked and appalled” HMI of Fire & Rescue Services, who has demanded that the sector is “brought into the 21st century”.

One incident included in the report was triggered by a firefighter who tried to report a senior office for a racist comment. The response from the service was that the accused “would never behave in that way” and the senior officer then promised to “make his life a living hell”.

Another incident occurred where a senior officer make reference to his colleague of African descent by using the ‘n-word’, and defended his actions by saying he was just ‘having a laugh’. Inspectors found homophobic slurs written on a firefighter’s locker, and men routinely using women’s toilet and although they felt unconformable about this, they did not feel confident enough to challenge them.

One of the most concerning incidents involved two male firefighters talking about ‘gang raping’ a female colleague and then pretending to do so. The report describes how women are recruited simply for their gender as opposed to merit.

Staff make comments such as: “if you menstruate or have a vagina, you’re more likely to get the job” and “you have to be a woman to get on”. Several women described feeling this to be true.

Staff collectively describe being fearful of speaking out about their victimisation or challenging inappropriate behaviour because they felt it would lead to negative consequences, a “negative mark” against their name. Some report being told it would be “career suicide”.

In one service, inspectors heard that the misconduct was demonstrated by staff of the highest grade. In this service, there was an ‘expectation’ it was female staff who would make people tea, and bullying of new staff led to one person needing to relocate.

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