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Under Siege

Pharmacies facing raids from attackers armed with knives, syringes and guns

A crime survey has found that cosmetics and fake tan are the most likely items to be shoplifted from pharmacies.

PHARMACIES ARE UNDER siege from robberies and raids with staff subjected to knife, syringe and gun attacks.

That’s according to a crime survey by the Irish Pharmacy Union which is calling for tougher sentencing, more CCTV cameras and a more visible Garda presence.

It says that over the last year 75% of pharmacists were victims of crime and 82% of those pharmacies experienced two or more criminal incidents.

The survey was carried out among 120 pharmacies nationwide in the week beginning 15 December 2014.

A third of the pharmacies that experienced a robbery or raid said the perpetrators carried weapons: a knife was used in 75% of cases, a syringe in 25% of cases and a gun in 13% of cases.

It also found that 37% of pharmacists who decided not to report a crime did so because they felt the perpetrator would not be charged and 16% feared reprisals against the pharmacy.

The IPU is the representative body for over 2,100 pharmacists across the country.

IPU Vice-President Daragh Connolly said, “Criminals clearly see pharmacies as an easy target.

Even when these criminals are caught, the extremely lenient penalties handed down by the Courts bear no relation to the impact the crimes have on the staff of the small local businesses who are victims of these crimes.

“We need tougher sentencing, more visible policing and a no tolerance approach by the Gardaí and the Criminal Justice System.”

Read: Pharmacies a growing target for shoplifters and thieves>

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