Details of the external review of the National Food Crime Unit (NFCU) have now been published by the Food Standards Agency.
In June 2018, the FSA Board agreed to expand NFCU activities from having a strategic and tactical intelligence capability to a comprehensive response to criminal threats and vulnerabilities, including investigative capabilities. This expanded capability included a formal full organisational review after three years.
The review was conducted between June to October 2022 and collected evidence and insight from 28 focus groups and 40 external stakeholders, via an online survey that was sent to over 1000 food industry employees and all local authorities.
22 findings were reported, and 5 recommendations were made under the headings of Redefine Purpose, Build Capability, Enhance Impact, Nurture Culture and Project Message. These recommendations relate to:
- Clearer definition of the Unit’s purpose, with performance indicators aligned to its strategy.
- Using this enhanced clarity to assess ‘as-is’ capability, and then design and build the required ‘to-be’ position.
- Ensuring access to the latest tradecraft and capability within law enforcement to enhance capabilities.
- Nurturing of internal culture and improvements to internal career pathways.
- Better projection of the Unit, its food crime messaging, and its successes.
A paper of the review was presented to the FSA Business Committee at a meeting on 7th December 2022.