More than 20 kilograms of toxic chemical has been stolen from a pharmaceutical manufacturing factory near Annan.

Police Scotland is investigating a break-in at the the Macfarlan Smith factory in Three Trees Road, which is in the village of Newbie.

Officers believe that in the early hours of Monday (July 8) the suspect/s gained access via a secure perimeter fence at the site.

During the raid a large quantity of a starting material used to manufacture pharmaceutical intermediates was stolen.

The chemical was contained in a brown coloured plastic keg, and weighs about 22 kilograms.

Detective Inspector Dean Little said: “At this stage we are currently working closely with staff and security at Macfarlan Smith in order to establish the full circumstances surrounding this break-in.

"CCTV at the site and in private premises surrounding the site is currently being reviewed in this process, and a full door to door enquiry is underway. I am appealing to anyone who may have been in the area of the site late Sunday night or early Monday morning to get in touch with us if they saw or heard anything suspicious, or have any information which might assist in this enquiry.

"Callers can get in touch through the 101 number and should quote the reference number 2212 10/7. Anyone who wishes to pass on information anonymously can use the Crimestoppers number 0800 555 111.

“At this stage I would like to highlight to the person responsible for taking this compound to be aware that this is a toxic material and not to touch ingest or consider supplying the material to anyone else. Consumption of the material is likely to result in significant injury. I am keen to recover this material as soon as possible and would appeal to anyone who may know where it is to make contact with police as a matter of urgency.”