Firefighters 'took photos of car crash victims and commented on their underwear'

Police have launched an investigation into claims that firefighters took photos of women who had died in car accidents.

Dorset and Wiltshire Fire Service officers are said to have shared the images in a WhatsApp group, it has been claimed.

According to ITV News the male firefighters are alleged to have made degrading comments about the deceased victims.

One whistleblower, speaking anonymously, told ITV News: ‘I’ve seen people make comments about the type of underwear the women are wearing in the car crash.’

The female firefighter added: ‘Retrieving the body of someone dead should tear you apart, not make you want to take photos of it, just to joke about it later.

‘Because that’s someone’s loved one, isn’t it? That’s someone’s relative.’

South Wales Fire and Rescue Service is now said to have commissioned an independent review of its culture and disciplinary processes.

It is similar to the review completed last year by the London Fire Brigade after allegations were made against firefighters.

Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service have also launched its own independent review, after victims shared their testimonies about the treatment of women within the organisation.

In response to the allegations, Chief Fire Officer for Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service, Ben Ansell, said ‘The matters you have raised with us are deeply concerning and we take allegations of this nature extremely seriously.

‘As allegations of criminal behaviour are involved, we have immediately alerted the police so the appropriate action can be taken. I am also commissioning an independent investigation.

‘As part of this investigation, I will be providing all of our female staff with the opportunity to speak to an independent organisation.

‘It is vital to have their help in identifying any inappropriate behaviour – in a modern fire and rescue service there is absolutely no place for it.

‘In addition, we have set up a confidential helpline so if any of our staff have immediate issues as a result of these allegations, the right support is in place.

‘There is an expectation for our staff to work in line with our code of ethics which sets out high levels of expected behaviours.

‘The vast majority of our staff are good people, working hard and doing a great job. But when and if those standards are not met, we will move quickly to address it.’

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