London Fire Brigade dealt with 163 disciplinary cases in two years, report reveals

Two LFB firefighters tackle a blaze at a church in Maida Vale  (LFB)
Two LFB firefighters tackle a blaze at a church in Maida Vale (LFB)

The London Fire Brigade (LFB) has investigated more than 160 disciplinary offences - including fraud and pornography - among its staff in the past two years, according to the BBC.

The figures reportedly reveal allegations ranging from misuse of social media, fraud and financial irregularity, to lateness and pornography.

LFB said eight cases led to written and final warnings after it was found staff had used “inappropriate language” on social media.

None of these were thought to be of a racist or homophobic nature.

In response to the allegations, an LFB spokeswoman said: “We publish weekly data about the work of the external body and we encourage staff and members of the public to report any poor behaviour to them.

“Complaints of gross misconduct that are upheld will always lead to a dismissal.”

It comes after the force was found “institutionally misogynist and racist” in a damning independent report.

Accounts ranging from women being groped to people having their helmets filled with urine feature in the wide-ranging review, which examined the culture at England’s biggest fire and rescue service.

Led by Nazir Afzal, a former chief crown prosecutor for the North West, the review exposed racism, misogyny, bullying and prejudice - and warned the organisation “needs to do more to protect its own people”.

London Fire Commissioner Andy Roe said at the time: “I recognised that LFB’s culture needed to improve which is why I commissioned the Independent Culture Review and took immediate actions when it was published.

“Our external complaints service is supporting colleagues and a zero-tolerance approach to discrimination, harassment and bullying means all staff know what behaviours aren’t tolerated.

“Change is happening now and from the face to face meetings I’ve been having with firefighters and other staff shows there is a passion to make sure our culture works for everyone.

“We welcome the additional support as part of the Inspectorate’s enhanced monitoring programme and I look forward to working with them and other partners to monitor progress and change in the future.”

A spokeswoman for London mayor Sadiq Khan said: “Urgent work will continue to root out all firefighters and staff found to be responsible for sexism, racism, misogyny, homophobia, bullying or harassment.

“Some of that work has started with a new independent team investigating complaints and a pledge to record firefighter interactions with the public through Body Worn Video.

“But the mayor is clear there can be no hiding place for those who abuse their position of trust and authority within the brigade and more must be done, and at pace, to rid the brigade of all those unfit to serve.”

LFB has been approached for further comment.