A NORTH Yorkshire firefighter is "standing up against racism" after he says his son was racially abused.

The alleged incident has prompted him to share his own experiences of being racially abused during his life.

The firefighter, who does not want to be named, was often subjected to racist taunts when he was growing up.

Born and raised in "my beloved Yorkshire," he also has heritage from Singapore, Macassar, China and India, as well as Ireland.

He remembers being the target of racial slurs as young as six-year-old, when he was called an offensive term for a Chinese person. At the time he didn't know what this meant.

In his third year at grammar school, a pupil referred to him as "slave."

He said: "I’ve encountered countless occasions when racist abuse has been thrown my way.

"There were more occasions when my heritage and physical look caused others to act so abhorrently.

"I’ve been spat at, had monkey noises aimed at me.

"There’s been racist innuendo, on the street, on the football pitch, in pubs, clubs and workplaces," he added.

Recently, his son was racially abused. He explained: "My 16-year-old son was walking home from playing football and just generally hanging about in a local park with a couple of mates. His mum and I asked him to be home for 5.30pm so he’s home when we get home from work. My son and his two mates had to walk past a handful of males aged 18-20. My son recognised one of them.

"Later that evening I could hear my son’s voice getting louder and sounding angry. He was outside telling his mum that he’d been racially abused by the group he walked past. He was in tears. He said his mum couldn’t understand how he felt. I could.

"The police now have a statement from my son for this crime. That’s what it is. A crime.

"But now I’m standing up. Enough is enough. Racism is a crime."

On Monday, members of North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service, including chief fire officer Andrew Brodie, stood in solidarity with the firefighter and his son to publicly signal that racism has no place in our communities and that the service is an anti-racist organisation.

Mr Brodie said: “I am truly passionate about North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service being an organisation in which we recognise and welcome the unique skills, talents and experiences of all. That we are individuals with our own beliefs, stories and thoughts. When we take the time get to know each other better it expands our understanding. It makes our workplace more vibrant and helps us to be more responsive to our communities.”

To read the firefighter's full story, visit: https://www.northyorksfire.gov.uk/news-events/pressreleases/standingup