Crime against wholesalers is a continuing concern for members. As responsible distributors of alcohol and tobacco products, our members collect millions of pounds in duty on behalf of the Treasury. These high- value products are of significant interest to organised criminals.
Our sector is targeted by these criminals, primarily to access tobacco to sell on the black market, with regular incidents against wholesalers and retail customers in both depots and shops. As a result, employees of wholesalers and retailers can face the threat of physical violence in the course of their business.
Investment in resource to tackle crime against wholesalers will ultimately lead to savings for the Government and help deal with serious organised crime.
We are calling on the Government to:
FWD maintain a database of incidents involving theft and robbery from depots, vehicles and customers in cash and carry car parks. From this we are able to track the movement of offenders, and gather intelligence including CCTV images. This information is passed to the police and has resulted in several arrests and prosecutions.
FWD also monitors the growing number of incidents of Business Impersonation Fraud. This is effectively ‘cyber-crime’ where suppliers are approached by criminals posing as FWD members and goods are sent to a false delivery address.
FWD continues to call for the Home Office and regional police forces to put greater resources into identifying and prosecuting criminals who target the food and drink supply chain.
The FWD Criminal Intelligence What’s App group shares details of criminal activity on members’ premises. It detects criminals’ patterns of behaviour and identifies vehicles used in multiple incidents. FWD members can join the group by contacting us.
We’ve issued a crime awareness poster for use in cash and carry premises. We’ll add members logos if they wish – contact us and we’ll send the artwork.