A SURVEY OF pharmacists has found ‘shocking’ levels of crime with almost three quarters of pharmacies reporting that they were the victims of crime in the past year.
The survey by the Irish Pharmacy Union also found that fake tan and cosmetics were the items most likely to be stolen from pharmacies.
Shoplifting accounted for the vast majority of pharmacy crimes followed by robberies. One in four of the latter involved the use of a weapon.
A total of 71 per cent of pharmacists who responded to the survey said they had been the victims of crime over the past year with 84 per cent reporting more than one criminal incident. Most pharmacists reported the crime to the Gardaí but a significant minority were unhappy with the response they received.
The Irish Pharmacy Union has called for more Gardaí on the streets and punitive sentencing to deter criminals.
“These shocking levels of crime being experienced by pharmacists show that too many criminals feel there is nothing to stop them,” said Rory O’Donnell, the president of the IPU.
He said that there was a perception that crimes against business are ‘victimless’ crimes and are thus not treated as seriously as they should be.
“The safety of pharmacists, staff and customers is being put at risk by criminals and this cannot be tolerated,” said O’Donnell. “Crime also damages businesses, threatens jobs and negatively impacts on staff morale. These hidden costs can have a far bigger impact on the pharmacy business than the direct costs of damage and loss.”