Stay vigilant after “well organised” break-in at agrochemical store

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The Agricultural Industries Confederation (AIC) is advising growers and distributors of plant protection products (PPPs) to be on high alert after a well-organised break-in at a secure distributor store. 

The warning for farmers and PPP distributors to be on their guard against the risk of organised thieves looking to steal valuable agrochemical products has been issued following an attempted raid on a major distributor’s store in Norfolk in May. 

The criminals targeted the premises just after midnight, severing the building’s communication lines before climbing onto the roof and making a hole to gain entry to where PPPs were stored for distribution to farms. 

They are believed to have abandoned their raid and fled empty-handed after an alarm system was triggered, calling out staff and the police to the site. A police investigation suggested that the gang had knowledge of the site and experience with roofing based on precision tools left behind at the scene. 

Hazel Doonan, AIC’s Head of Crop Protection and Agronomy, said: “Routinely reviewing security arrangements is always a prudent step for any agricultural business given the relentlessness of rural crime. 

“In light of this case, farmers and growers should be extremely wary if they are offered product that appears to be exceptionally cheap or does not come from a known and reputable distribution company. 

“Inadvertently handling stolen goods has the potential to damage a business’s reputation and risks criminal proceedings. 

“Any business or individual selling or supplying professional PPPs must hold the BASIS Certificate in Crop Protection. 

“We strongly urge anyone who is approached to buy PPPs from an unknown or suspicious seller to report the details to the police by calling 101, or to make an anonymous report to Crimestoppers UK by calling 0800 555 111.”


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