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Rural Crime Alert for Agricultural Sector After Break-In at Agrochemical Store

Growers and distributors of plant protection products (PPPs) have been placed on high alert following a sophisticated break-in at a secure distributor store in Norfolk.


Image: Canva

The Agricultural Industries Confederation (AIC) has issued a warning to farmers and PPP distributors to remain vigilant against the threat of organised criminals targeting valuable agrochemical products. This caution follows an attempted raid on a major distributor’s premises earlier this month.


The perpetrators struck shortly after midnight, severing the building’s communication lines before scaling the roof and creating an entry point to access the stored PPPs intended for farm distribution. The alarm system, however, thwarted their efforts, leading the intruders to flee the scene empty-handed as staff and police swiftly responded.


A police investigation has suggested that the gang possessed prior knowledge of the site and expertise in roofing, based on the precision tools abandoned at the scene.


Hazel Doonan, Head of Crop Protection and Agronomy at AIC, stated: "It is always prudent for any agricultural business to regularly review their security arrangements, particularly given the persistent threat of rural crime.


"In light of this incident, it is imperative that farmers and growers exercise extreme caution if offered products at unusually low prices or from unfamiliar sources. Handling stolen goods, even unwittingly, can severely damage a business's reputation and lead to criminal charges.


"Any entity involved in the sale or supply of professional PPPs must hold the BASIS Certificate in Crop Protection.


"We strongly urge anyone approached with suspicious offers of PPPs to report the details to the police by calling 101 or to make an anonymous report to Crimestoppers UK at 0800 555 111."


This advisory underscores the ongoing need for heightened security and due diligence within the agricultural sector to protect against the ever-present threat of theft and criminal activity.

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