London Fire Brigade moved into enhanced monitoring

His Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Fire & Rescue Services has moved London Fire Brigade (LFB) into an enhanced level of monitoring.

His Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS) continuously monitors the performance of all fire and rescue services in England.

The monitoring process consists of two stages: Scan and Engage. All fire and rescue services are in the Scan phase by default, but may be escalated to Engage where there is a cause of concern.

HMICFRS said LFB has been moved into the Engage phase because there is cumulative evidence from its last inspection and afterwards of unacceptable behaviour within the brigade, including discrimination and bullying. This was reported as a cause of concern by the inspectorate in July this year.

The inspectorate also said the values and behaviours the brigade aspires to are not always demonstrated by senior leaders, and the brigade needs to do more to demonstrate progress in improving its culture.

His Majesty’s Inspector of Fire and Rescue Services Matt Parr said:

“We should recognise that London Fire Brigade’s recent cultural review was commissioned by the brigade, whose leadership has accepted its findings without reservation.

“However, it is clear that the behavioural problems we highlighted earlier this year are deep seated and have not improved. The Engage process provides additional scrutiny of the brigade’s plans, and support for them from across the fire sector.

“We will now examine London Fire Brigade’s improvement plans more frequently and more intrusively, and work closely with the brigade to monitor its progress.”