A VAN containing hazardous material has been stolen from a property in Darwen.

Police are now appealing for any information from the public in a bid to trace the vehicle.

Officers were called at around 7.20am on Monday, June 22 to reports that a white Ford Transit van had been stolen from Elswick Street, Darwen.

Since then police have received information that the van — with the registration number ND59 VBE — contained a hazardous material called Talunex.

Talunex is a vermin poison used to exterminate rats and moles, which is fatal if ingested and toxic if touched.

Each tablet is spherical, the size of a garden pea, light grey in colour with a seam around the centre.

The poison is within the vehicle in a light grey, ammunition-style box above the driver and passenger seat.

The van also contained some petrol, fertiliser, pesticide and equipment including strimmers, chainsaws and a backpack leaf blower.

Police say they are 'very concerned' and are warning people to be vigilant after the theft. 

Insp Craig Kelshaw, of Lancashire Police, said: “The theft of this van and the materials it contains is very concerning.

“There is every chance the offenders have little to no idea how dangerous these tablets can be. 

"We must stress how important it is that the Talunex is not touched, ingested or inhaled. 

"If this happens, immediate medical assistance must be sought.

“I would urge people to be vigilant and if you have any information to come forward as soon as possible.

“I would also ask those individuals who have taken the vehicle to do the right thing and speak to us so these items can be safely dealt with.

 “I cannot stress enough the importance of finding this van and the materials it contains.

"Please contact us if you can help.”

Talunex can only be used by a person who has been trained in the use of aluminium phosphide. 

As well as being toxic if it comes in contact with skin, it can be fatal if swallowed and can cause serious eye damage.

Anyone with information is asked to contact police on 101 quoting log 0258 of June 22.

Alternatively, contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.