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SENIOR OFFICER ADMITS INSTITUTIONALISED RACISM IN FIRE SERVICE

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A senior member of the Chief Fire Officers' Association yesterday conceded that racism is rife in the service, hour...
A senior member of the Chief Fire Officers' Association yesterday conceded that racism is rife in the service, hours before ministers unveiled targets to boost recruitment of black and Asian firefighters.

The Daily Mail (p5) reports that the association's equality officer, Jeff Ord, said: 'I think I would have to be naive, if not arrogant, to say there is not an element of institutionalised racism in the serivce.'

His admission follows claims by the Fire Brigades' Union that some firefighters offer a second-rate service to black and Asian people.

Union spokesman Andy Gilchrist said a minority of firefighters refuse help to ethnic minority householders to tidy up the mess after a chimney fire.

Meanwhile, Jack Straw, the home secretary, will today unveil proposals to extend recruitment targets already introduced in the police force to the fire service, prisons and probation service.

While seven per cent of the population of England and Wales are from ethnic minorities, only 1.2% of firefighters are black or Asian.

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