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:

  • Provide greater support to deal with crime against wholesale businesses on the ground
  • Look into funding for law enforcement measures to combat serious organized crime against wholesalers
  • Make crimes against business a higher priority for the Home Office and Police and Crime Commissioners

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. Download the FWD car park crime flyer

Some members have expressed concern about the potential for cyber attack on wholesalers. Advice can be found on the website of the National Cyber Security Centre, including details of how to report an attack.