Fianna Fáil TD and Spokesperson on Justice, Jim O’Callaghan has said that there must be stronger deterrents and sanctions for those carrying out crimes against Pharmacies across the country.

The 2017 Irish Pharmacy Union crime survey published this week reveals that almost 80% of pharmacies surveyed have been victims of crime including shoplifting, break-ins, and raids.

Deputy O’Callaghan said, “In recent months, an appalling pattern of crime being carried out on pharmacies has emerged.

“In one in four incidents, controlled or prescribed drugs were robbed. Cash was taken in over a fifth of cases, while over the counter drugs were taken in over 10% of crimes.

“These attacks are unfortunately now common throughout the country and have recently occurred in a number of pharmacies on Pearse street in my own constituency.

“Violent threats are also sadly becoming a more common feature of these crimes. Most recently, three masked men carrying knives carried out a robbery on a pharmacy on the Greendale Road in Kilbarrack.

“Introducing tighter security measures on a pharmacy can be very expensive and can often cost in the region of €40,000. Such a financial commitment is very significant for what are privately owned businesses and sole traders.

“It is clear that we need very strong deterrents and sanctions for anyone carrying out these kinds of robberies. We also need more visible policing in our communities to deter these types of crime.

“Tougher bail criteria must also play it’s part in cracking down on criminals who are all too often repeat offenders ,” concluded Deputy O’Callaghan.