Fake tan tops pharmacy hit list

Three-quarters of pharmacies in Ireland have been victims of crime, with cosmetics and fake tan most likely to be shoplifted

A survey of 130 Irish pharmacies conducted in the first week of this year has found 92% of pharmacies who were victims of crime experienced shoplifting, while 19% had experienced robbery, 15% fraud and 6% a raid.

Seventy-eight per cent of respondents had experienced two or more incidents, with a significant 23% describing the incident as ‘violent’.

In one in five cases (21%), cash was taken. In 12% of cases, over-the-counter drugs were taken and controlled drugs in 9% of cases.

Cosmetics and fake tan were the most likely items to be shoplifted from pharmacies, according to the Irish Pharmacy Union (IPU) Crime Survey 2016.

The findings from the survey have been described by IPU President Daragh Connolly as “shocking”.

Mr Connolly says he is particularly concerned at the level of violent crimes against pharmacy staff, which he says are “extremely worrying and utterly unacceptable”.

“It is not an exaggeration to say that crime against pharmacies has reached crisis levels. The appalling level of crime should send out a strong message to the authorities that unless immediate action is taken, criminals will continue to see retail businesses, including pharmacies, as an easy target,” he says.

Respondents to the survey identified more visible policing (93%), faster police response (88%) and tougher sentencing (86%) as the most effective methods for reducing crime going forward.

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