'Soft targets' - 75pc of Irish pharmacies reported crimes last year
Figures released by the Irish Pharmacy Union (IPU) indicate that pharmacies nationwide are being systematically targeted by thieves, with a whopping 75 per cent of stores reporting crimes in 2015.
The most commonly reported crimes were raids, robberies and instances of shoplifting.
Many pharmacies experienced multiple incidents.
According to the IPU's survey nearly a quarter of reported crimes were classed as violent.
The most commonly used weapons by perpetrators were guns and knives.
The report showed that nearly half of pharmacists who decided not to report a crime did so because they felt the person responsible would not be charged.
Cash was the most common item seized by raiders, with over-the-counter drugs and controlled drugs also stolen during robberies.
"It is unacceptable that pharmacy owners and their staff are viewed as ‘soft targets’ where the probability of repeat offences is high and the risk of apprehension and penalty is low," Darragh Connolly the IPU vice president said.
He described the findings as "unacceptable" and "extremely worrying".