Counterfeit Plant Protection Products: A Mixed-Methods Study of an Emerging Crime Threat to the Agricultural Industry

  • Christopher I. Sambrook

Abstract

The proliferation of counterfeit plant protection products (pesticides) across Europe has been well documented by both industry and popular media sources wherein the economic, environmental, and human costs are graphically described. However, this narrative is largely based on industry derived information. A recent UK Intellectual Property Office (IPO) assessment of such industry generated reports was sceptical of the data they contain and questioned their usefulness as the basis for response. The aim of this study was to produce data such that the extent of the threat posed to the UK agricultural industry by this crime could be ascertained. This was achieved by taking a blended approach, a strategy endorsed by the IPO as a means of more accurately capturing the true nature of a counterfeiting problem. The study was convergent parallel mixed method in design. The results of the study suggest that the industry and media narrative is a reasonable reflection of the UK counterfeit pesticide problem, at least to the extent that it recognises the typical modus operandi. However, the study also highlighted a number of characteristics of UK rural policing which essentially exclude this emerging crime from the rural policing agenda. Primary amongst these was an actuarial influence giving rise to a propensity to respond to risk as portrayed by those engaged in insuring against loss. This has significantly narrowed the rural policing focus. The study continues, drawing upon the results to develop strategies to mitigate the threat it poses to the UK agricultural industry

Published
2016-06-01
How to Cite
Sambrook, C. I. (2016). Counterfeit Plant Protection Products: A Mixed-Methods Study of an Emerging Crime Threat to the Agricultural Industry. European Law Enforcement Research Bulletin, (14), 44-51. Retrieved from https://bulletin.cepol.europa.eu/index.php/bulletin/article/view/155