nfcu review (2)

1. National Food Crime Unit External Review 2022

In June 2018, the Food Standards Agency Board agreed to expand National Food Crime Unit's (NFCU) activities from having a strategic and tactical intelligence capability to a comprehensive response to criminal threats and vulnerabilities, including investigative capabilities. This review of the NFCU ran from June to October 2022. The Review centred on 22 key findings which relate to the themes below:

  • The evidenced capability of the Unit to handle intelligence and pursue crime reduction, supported by the professional expertise of its staff, the benefit derived from their existing professional networks within law enforcement and the deep commitment and effort of the Unit’s officers;
  • The impact of increasing strategic cohesion between NFCU and the rest of the FSA with regards to the food crime threat;
  • The practical challenges of complex fraud investigation, particularly given the absence of key powers, but also the importance of encouraging a more ‘lawfully audacious’ approach;
  • The critical contributions of the Unit’s capabilities around sensitive intelligence collection and financial investigation;
  • The importance of food-specific domain expertise in understanding and tackling the food crime threat, the external factors which may increase the risk of food crime and the risk that the threat is underestimated by many;
  • Areas of potential improvement to service delivery in terms of internal training, intelligence sharing, online investigation tradecraft and the consideration of offender management opportunities.
  • The importance of strengthening the Unit’s external influence, relationships and information sharing with the public and private sectors, at home and abroad.

 Read the review report.

2.  Food Fraud Prevention Strategy - A global perspective on testing, monitoring and verification

This paper, by Dr. John W Spink and reviewed by Selvarani Elahi MBE, provides insight into how the food authenticity-related concepts of testing, monitoring, and verification can be applied effectively within the overall framework of food fraud prevention.

Download the free white paper at:

Read more…

10948923475?profile=RESIZE_192XThe Food Standards Agency (FSA) Board agreed to a full organisational review of the NFCU, which had been given expanded activities in June 2018 from a strategic and tactical intelligence capability to a comprehensive response to criminal threats and vulnerabilities, including investigative capabilities. Selvarani Elahi, our Executive Director, was part of the review team that carried out the review from June to October 2022. The review collected evidence from 28 focus groups and 40 external stakeholders from the food industry and local authorities, as well as staff from the FSA/NFCU.  The Review reported 22 findings and made 5 recommendations:

  1. Clearer definition of the Unit’s purpose, with performance indicators aligned to its strategy.

  2. Using this enhanced clarity to assess ‘as-is’ capability, and then design and build the required ‘to-be’ position.

  3. Ensuring access to the latest tradecraft and capability within law enforcement to enhance capabilities.

  4. Nurturing of internal culture and improvements to internal career pathways.

  5. Better projection of the Unit, its food crime messaging and its successes.

  Read the News story here

Read more…