Local pharmacies seen as 'easy targets' by criminals
Over the last year three quarters of pharmacists were victims of crime, including shoplifting, robbery and raids, according to new figures published by the Irish Pharmacy Union.
The report from the representative body for community pharmacists reveals that 82pc of pharmacies who were victims of crime experienced two or more criminal incidents.
Of those who experienced a robbery or raid, over a third (36pc) said the perpetrators carried one or more weapons: a knife was used in 75pc of cases, a syringe in 25pc of cases and a gun in 13pc of cases.
IPU Vice-President Daragh Connolly described the findings of the Crime Survey as deeply disturbing and 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.
'If not, this sinister and frightening pattern of crime on pharmacies will continue.'