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Since the early 70's inorganic nitrogenous fertilisers have been misused by terrorists as an ingredient in homemade explosive (HME). Whilst the concern affects all solid nitrate fertilisers the widespread use of ammonium nitrate (AN) and ammonium nitrate based fertilisers is of particular significance.
To secure your fertiliser, there are many simple measures which, if taken, may prevent a theft. Please read again the 'Basic principles of good security (opens new window)' from the National Counter Terrorism Security Office (NaCTSO) and see if there are measures you can implement.
There is no doubt that terrorists will target those things that are easy to obtain.
Please report any suspicious activity at or near your premises, it may prove to be a missing part of a bigger picture.
- All communities should remain vigilant and report suspicious behaviour to the police
- Report individuals asking specific questions about, or taking pictures of, a facility or a farm’s working practices.
- Report any attempts to purchase fertilisers, diesel, herbicides or pesticides by anyone who you know is not authorised to do so or who may be acting suspiciously.
- Wherever possible store all fertiliser inside a secure, locked building or compound which is specifically for that purpose.
- Do not leave fertiliser where it is visible to the public.
- Do not sell fertiliser unless the purchaser is known by you to be a bona-fide farmer or user.
- Record fertiliser deliveries and usage and carry out regular stock takes. Report immediately any stock discrepancy or loss to the police.
- Record any manufacturer code numbers from the bags and detonation resistance test certificates as you may be required to present them.
- The Health and Safety Executive (opens new window) can provide further advice on the storage and transportation of fertilisers, particularly ammonium nitrate.
The Security of fertiliser storage on farms leaflet (opens new window), produced by NaCTSO reminds farmers about the need to secure their fertiliser and to report thefts and losses promptly.