Head of Crime Operations
National Food Crime Unit, Food Standards Agency
Gavan Wafer has spent a career in law enforcement, with over 25 years work within enforcement and Criminal Investigation at HM Customs and Excise and then HM Revenue and Customs. During his service he investigated and prosecuted some of the UK’s biggest cigarette smuggling, alcohol diversion, fraud and money laundering cases and received judicial commendations for doing so. He joined the NFCU in November 2014 as the Head of Crime Operations.
The horsemeat scandal of 2012 – 13 bought into sharp focus the threat that food crime poses to UK consumers and the food industry. Research has shown that the threat to the £200 billion food industry from crime is a real threat. In response to this the UK established the National Food Crime Unit (NFCU). Whilst food crime has been around for millennia it is the increased danger it poses that has necessitated a more proactive and targeted response. The NFCU seeks to combat food crime by building effective intelligence capabilities, working with consumer groups and industry partners and responding to the threat to make the food landscape a more hostile environment for the food criminal. Our approach will be based on the protection, prevention and pursuit of those involved in food crime to ensure that food is what it says it is and is safe. In his presentation Gavan Wafer, Head of Crime Operations, will detail the NFCU’s response to food crime.