A fire brigade crew in Bristol shined a torch at bushes at a notorious 'dogging' spot one night on the way back to their station. Four individuals were in the bushes, and one went on to make a formal complaint to the fire service.
The firemen were suspended for 3 months pending an investigation, then two were fined £1,000 and a third was demoted a rank.
'Dogging' is illegal. Shining a torch at people engaged in dogging isn't illegal. Taking into account that no action has been taken against the individual who made the complaint, is this a ludicrous example of 'political correctness gone mad', or is a £1,000 fine an appropriate punishment for harassing random people while on duty?But one of the 'doggers' complained to Avon Fire and Rescue, ultimately accusing the four-man crew of being homophobic.
The firemen, who have 26 years of service between them, were then suspended on full pay for three months during an internal investigation.
Yesterday it emerged that two have been fined £1,000 each, another demoted to a rank which will see him forfeit a similar amount of money, while a fourth has received a stern written warning.