HC Deb 09 March 1999 vol 327 cc121-2W
Mr. Cohen

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many firefighters in the London Fire Brigade are of black or ethnic minority origin; what proportion of the total they form; and what measures are planned to increase the number of black and ethnic minority firefighters in London. [75135]

Mr. George Howarth

At 31 March 1998, there were 5,771 firefighters on the operational strength of London Fire Brigade. Of these, 249 (4.3 per cent. of the total) classified themselves as black or from an ethnic minority group.

We have announced that targets will be set for the recruitment of ethnic minority groups into the Home Office and its services. All chief fire officers have been asked to set targets to improve black and ethnic minority representation to reflect the community their brigade serves. The London Fire and Civil Defence Authority has already taken a number of initiatives of its own to increase the numbers of black and ethnic minority firefighters in London.