POLICE in Dorset are warning farmers about the danger of terrorists getting their hands on fertiliser.

Inorganic nitrogenous fertilisers can be misused by terrorists as an ingredient in homemade explosives. Whilst the concern affects all solid nitrate fertilisers, the widespread use of ammonium nitrate (AN) and ammonium nitrate-based fertilisers is of particular significance.

A spokesperson for Dorset Police's Rural Crime Team said: "We have put together a list of security measures to follow to keep your fertiliser safe."

The team is advising that fertiliser is not stored where there is public access, and that bags of fertiliser are not left in the field overnight or stored near to, or visible from, the public highway.

Wherever possible fertiliser should be stored inside a locked building or compound. This will also follow HSE safety guidance. When stored outside, fertiliser should be covered, and regular checks should be made to ensure that the stack has not been tampered with.

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Farmers are advised to keep a secure file of all fertiliser delivery notes and carry out regular, frequent stock checks. Any unexplained stock discrepancy, loss or theft should be reported to the police immediately.

Police also advise farmers to buy fertiliser from a Fertiliser Industry Assurance Scheme (FIAS) approved supplier. It is an offence to sell-on ammonium nitrate fertiliser without the property certification.

The National Counter Terrorism Security Office (NaCTSO) is a police unit within the Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure (CPNI), and can offer specialist advice on the security of explosives and pre-cursor chemicals (including fertilisers), pathogens and toxins, radiological sources and other toxic chemicals.

To contact your local team, email: CTSA@dorset.pnn.police.uk

If you have been a victim of a theft of fertiliser, call 101, email 101@dorset.pnn.police.uk or report it online at https://www.dorset.police.uk/do-it-online/

If a theft of fertiliser is in progress and you are in immediate danger, call 999.

To report suspicious activity call the Anti-Terrorism Hotline on 0800 789 321. Your call may provide that vital piece of information that prevents further terrorist attacks and saves lives.