Who watches the watches?: A response to Nazir Afzal’s ‘Independent Culture Review of London Fire Brigade’

Think tank: Civitas

Author(s): Dr Richard Norrie

June 12, 2023

This report from UK think tank Civitas is a response to Nazir Afzal’s ‘Independent Culture Review of London Fire Brigade’.

Dr Richard Norrie (director of the research and statistics programme, Civitas) conducts a forensic analysis of the recent Independent Culture Review of London Fire Brigade. That review was led by the former prosecutor Nazir Afzal, and reported ‘dangerous levels of ingrained prejudice against women and the barriers faced by people of colour spoke for themselves’. It claimed to find evidence that supports a finding that the London Fire Brigade is institutionally misogynist and racist. Norrie finds the conclusions lacking, saying: ‘…the Afzal review proves on close inspection to be tendentious without having made its case. The charges of institutional racism and misogyny have not been substantiated by sufficient evidence. Mostly we have a series of anecdotes that are undoubtedly troubling but taken at face value and then construed as definitive. The authors do not appreciate that there are corrupt and incompetent doctors, but that is not sufficient to damn all doctors, say, or the NHS as a whole.’