Firefighters 'took photos of women killed in car crashes'
Police have launched an investigation into claims firefighters photographed bodies of women killed in car crashes and made comments about their underwear.
Firefighters from Dorset and Wiltshire Fire Service reportedly shared the images on an informal WhatsApp group and made degrading comments about the victims.
One whistleblower, a female firefighter, revealed to ITV news: "I've seen people make comments about the type of underwear the women are wearing in the car crash.
"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.
"It disgusts me that I have to work alongside people like this. People aren't in the job for the right reason. I think they're just power hungry and they get off on it."
Ben Ansell, the CFO of Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue, said in a statement that the police have been alerted as allegations of criminal behaviour are involved.
The service is commissioning an independent investigation into the claims, during which all female staff will have the opportunity to speak to an independent organisation.
'We're extremely shocked to hear about allegations'
It has also set up a confidential helpline which staff can ring with any "immediate issues" as a result of the allegations.
"The matters that have been raised with us are deeply concerning and we take allegations of this nature extremely seriously," Mr Ansell said.
"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.
"Where people do come forward with concerns, we conduct thorough investigations in accordance with our disciplinary procedures.
"We are unable to comment on individual cases, but what we can say is that we continue to work to ensure that our organisation is a safe place, where staff feel able to report concerns of inappropriate conduct or behaviour.
"We are extremely shocked and appalled to hear about these allegations. We would ask that any individuals affected, provide us with further information to allow us to investigate these allegations and to enable us to offer our support to them."