Pharmacies under attack from criminals. How CCTV can help.

February 3, 2021

This month the Irish Pharmacy Union released some shocking results from their crime survey.

Pharmacies nationwide are under attack from criminals and they are looking at ways to protect themselves. Last year, three out of four pharmacies in Ireland were the victims of crime and of these, one in four was described as violent. With the release of these figures members will be discussing what can be done to reduce the statistics.

Some of their findings;

· 92% of pharmacies who were victims of crime experienced shoplifting, 19% robbery, 15% fraud and 6% experienced a raid.

· 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 are the most likely items to be shoplifted from pharmacies.

· 78% of these experienced two or more incidents, with a significant 23% describing the incident as ‘violent’.

· One in five cases where there was a robbery or a raid, the perpetrators had a weapon, with a knife used in 81% and a gun in 18% of these cases.

While tougher sentencing and a more visible Garda presence has been the main call from the group, it is also revealed that most pharmacies have some form of CCTV installed on their premises. So how can retailers ensure their CCTV system is doing the job it was designed to do?

Our CCTVTips

· Ensure that the CCTV cameras are in a prominent place so that a would be criminal will see them and they will act as a deterrent.

· The quality of the footage is key, high definition cameras should be used to transmit a clear image.

· Images captured should be saved and stored securely.

· An adequate number of cameras should be in place and they should be positioned to cover all areas of the shop.

· Any existing CCTV system used should be assessed. If it is too old or the images are not clear it may need to be upgraded.

· The installation of panic buttons and access control systems for certain areas should be considered.

The IPU said ‘The belief that criminals will not be charged and the revolving door scenario in our courts for the few that are charged, is giving the impression to thieves that their criminal activities will go unpunished. It is imperative that a strong message goes out that criminals will be apprehended and dealt with appropriately by the authorities, including tough mandatory sentencing. If not, this sinister and frightening pattern of crime on pharmacies will continue, to the detriment of pharmacists and their staff, and the local communities we serve’

Shoplifting, robbery and raids will no doubt continue to be an unfortunate reality for many shop owners including pharmacies. Don’t be seen as an easy target. By taking a few steps to try and improve security in store it could prevent the crime happening to you. Should the worse occur at least it will be possible to get the necessary evidence for the courts to help in prosecution to reduce repeat occurrences.

Northwood Technology work in conjunction with PSA registered installers so you can have complete confidence. For some expert advice on CCTV for pharmacy please contact our sales office in Dublin on 01 8601880 or our Cork office on 021 2066853.