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Protect Your Pharmacy Week

Apr 9, 2008
April 14 - April 18 has been declared Protect Your Pharmacy Week. Unfortunately crimes designed to obtain controlled drugs from pharmacies are on the rise. And adding to that pressure most community pharmacies are also part of a general or drug store, so they have the usual shoplifters and cash thieves that these generate.

The aim of the week is to raise awareness with staff and customers about these crimes, and to encourage pharmacists to take steps to prevent them. The National Community Pharmacists Association has joined forces with the FBI Law Enforcement Executive Development Association and Purdue Pharma. Their aim is to improve the security and safety of pharmacies. NCPA members are getting a free toolkit to help them with this aim.

So what can you do to protect your pharmacy?

Firstly sign up and become a member of the NCPA you will then get your toolkit, which includes a training DVD, checklists and discounts on a range of security products.

Become a user of the Rx patrol website rxpatrol. This website is part of a union between law enforcement and the pharmacy industry to use pharmacy theft information to help quickly catch the thieves, and give pharmacists vital information to prevent them becoming victims. Pharmacy crime is often organized with the thieves having a shopping list of items that they already have buyers for. Fast sharing of information can shut down a ring of these thieves whilst they still have the stolen merchandise.

One of the best ways to deter thieves is to have security cameras installed. Many robbers are deterred by seeing themselves on TV, they will simply go elsewhere. And if you should get robbed then the CCTV recordings will help law enforcement catch them!

A visible alarm system is also a good deterrent. If possible get one that has a cell phone backup in case the hard line is cut. Some thieves are getting wise and assume that if they cut the phone lines then the alarm will not summon help. Let them keep this false sense of security until the police turn up to arrest them.

Be aware of the time when most robberies occur at the end of the day when the shop is closing up. Think about what you can do to reduce risk at this time perhaps even call your local police to ask for advice.

If the worst happens and you are the victim of a robbery?

Your robber is probably just as nervous as you are! Don't do anything that might alarm or provoke him. Do not try to tackle him yourself, this is how people get hurt, a scared robber is a dangerous robber. Do just what he says, possessions can be replaced, people cannot.

Try to observe your robber so that you can describe him and make an identification, and silently repeat to yourself important information to help law enforcement personnel.

After the robbery, first call 911 to get an ambulance for anyone who is injured and to summon the police. Only then call your supervisor. Ask any customers who were there to please remain so that they can give their statements to the police, and lock your doors to stop the robbers from returning! Finally don't touch anything, and don't discuss the crime until the police arrive then you can gratefully let them handle it! Finally follow your company policy about who needs to be notified.
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