NFCU review published

A review carried out by the Food Standards Agency (FSA) has recommended that the National Food Crime Unit (NFCU) should be given additional powers and resources to boost its ability to tackle food crime and protect consumers.

The NFCU is to be made an arms-length body of the FSA, it recommends, with investigatory powers, providing the agility and freedom to make day to day law enforcement decisions. Currently, the unit has no investigatory powers and instead works with partners including local authorities and the police to tackle food crime.

If the FSA board accepts the review’s recommendation, the next stage is to develop a business case and consult with other government departments on more detailed delivery options. There will also need to be in depth consultation with devolved governments and stakeholders in Wales and Northern Ireland to ensure that a future NFCU takes into account devolved enforcement arrangements and the need for local political accountability. This further work would be completed by the end of March 2017.

The findings are to be considered by the FSA board at its next meeting on 20 November.

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