Southport’s emergency services are on alert after Lancashire Police launched an appeal for a stolen van containing lethal poison.

The van was stolen from Darwen, Lancashire on Monday and contains lethal poison used in rodent extermination called Talunex.

Talunex is lethal if ingested or inhaled 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 Talunex is in an ammunition-style box above the driver seat. The van also contained petrol, fertiliser, pesticide and other maintenance equipment.

The missing van is a Ford Transit, registration ND59 VBE.

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.”