Donegal pharmacist calls crime figures 'startling and stark'

IPU figures show three out of four pharmacies experiencing some form of crime

Eamonn McFadden

Reporter:

Eamonn McFadden

Email:

eamonn.mcfadden@donegaldemocrat.com

Donegal pharmacist calls crime figures 'startling and stark'

More needs to be done to help combat crimes against the pharmacy sector including tougher sentences and quicker garda responses, a Donegal pharmacist has stated.

Rory O’Donnell of O’Donnell’s Pharmacy in Derrybeg says new figures from the Irish Pharmacy Union (IPU) show that three out of four pharmacies experiencing some form of crime including shoplifting, robbery or raids and he described this as “startling and stark”.

Mr O’Donnell said he has first-hand experience of being a victim of such crime and the problem seems to be getting worse.

“The sad thing is it is getting worse. When you see things getting worse where is it going to end? We were raided in the pharmacy in Derrybeg a number of years ago. It was an overnight break-in and was very professionally done. They came in their white suits and just like the survey said, it was cosmetics they were after. That was their target and they were gone within 90 seconds and took practically all (the stock) I had at the time. So I certainly understand where all this is coming from,” he told the Democrat.

“The big problem is that people will think they are going to get away with it and the fact if it is getting worse tells some sort of tale,” he added.

The Irish Pharmacy Union (IPU) Crime Survey 2016, reports 78 per cent of those experienced two or more criminal incidents, with 23 per cent describing them as “violent”.

Mr O’Donnell said most pharmacies could not afford to employ full-time security staff but in the future this will be “necessary”.

“We need quicker response times, but the gardaí are stretched we know that, and a better judicial system with more punitive sentencing for crimes like this. That they would be taken seriously at court level so there is a very loud deterrent and criminals would think twice before they would perpetrate a crime,” he stated.