Thames Valley Police are investigating the use and distribution of illegal pesticides, including counterfeits, across the Aylesbury Vale and Bicester areas.
Operation Silo has been launched across the Thames Valley area because of the risk the illegal items pose to rural communities, human health, and the environment and the links to organised crime gangs.
Chief Superintendent Gilbert Houalla, head of neighbourhood policing and partnerships said: “The Health and Safety Executive has shown this illegal activity is happening across the UK. Our job at the moment is to investigate to what level, if any, it is happening across Thames Valley.
“We are working closely with the industry which is providing farmers and growers with advice to minimise the risks of buying and using illegal pesticides through the nationwide Watch Out campaign.”
Thames Valley Police advises that warning signs to look out for include the product looking or smelling unusual, being offered a product described as the same as another but at a discounted rate, or being sold a product because your first choice was ‘out of stock’.
Members of the rural and farming community, as well as the public are urged to be vigilant for suspicious or unusual pesticide products they are offered or have bought.
Suspicious products or activities can be reported by calling 101 and quoting ‘Operation Silo’.