Bullying, harassment and discrimination are rife in England’s fire services, according to a groundbreaking new report.

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Complaints of homophobic, sexist and racist behaviour – which was often dismissed as banter – were found in 11 of its 44 services.

This included a senior officer using a racist slur and male firefighters telling a colleague they would rape her.

“The findings from our most recent inspections have shown that a great deal more work is needed to improve values and culture,” the report, which was conducted by His Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS), said.

“The recommendations in this report are designed to guide the relevant individuals and organisations in the right direction, but they are the minimum of work that we expect those involved to carry out.”

READ MORE: Met Police: Culture of “disgraceful behaviour” including homophobia, racism and misogyny exposed

Inspectors made a number of recommendations to help solve the issues identified by the report, including background checks on potential employees of England’s dire services.

Chief fire officers will also be ordered to review the core code of ethics and “make sure it is being applied across their service”.

Met Police found to be institutionally homophobic, racist and sexist

It comes not long after an official report stated a “complete overhaul” of London’s Metropolitan Police force is needed.

Louise Casey spent a year investigating the Met after a review was commissioned in the wake of one of its officers, Wayne Couzens, abducting, raping and murdering Sarah Everard in March 2021.

She said the force is likely to have more officers like Couzens, as well as serial rapist David Carrick, who also worked for the Met.

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The 363-page report also found evidence of “deep seated homophobia” in the force, as well as evidence of widespread bullying and racism.

“There is deep seated homophobia within the Met, as shown by the fact that almost one in five lesbian, gay and bisexual Met employees have personally experienced homophobia and 30% of LGBTQ+ employees have said they had been bullied,” part of it said. “Trust, confidence and fairness scores among LGBTQ+ Londoners have fallen significantly.”

Hate crimes recently reach record highs in England and Wales

Both of the damning reports come not long after recorded hate crimes reached new highs in England and Wales.

There were a total of 155,841 hate crimes recorded by police in the year ending March 2022, an increase of 26% from the previous 12 months.

It marked the largest annual rise since 2017.

READ MORE: Hate crimes reach record high in England and Wales as anti-trans offences double

Offences targeting transgender people rose by 56% from 2020/21, showing the largest proportional increase for any group with a total of 4,355 anti-trans incidents on record.

“Transgender issues have been heavily discussed on social media over the last year, which may have led to an increase in related hate crimes,” the Home Office report said.

Racist hate crimes also reached new highs, with more than 100,000 recorded in England and Wales for the first time – an increase of 19% from the previous year.