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Wellington city pharmacies fight back against increasing theft

  • News
  • February 25, 2016
  • Ahmed Bashir
Wellington city pharmacies fight back against increasing theft

The New Zealand Police have teamed up with Wellington City Council in an attempt to tackle the increasing problem of theft in the pharmaceutical industry.

Wellington City Council’s OurCBD programme, which was developed by First Retail Group, has organised a theft prevention and staff safety event for pharmacies.

The specialist requirements of pharmaceutical stores led to an industry-specific approach, project manager for First Retail Group Lorraine Nicholson says.

"Through our work with The Pharmacy Guild, Wellington City Council and the Police, pharmacies were identified as a particularly high-risk area, that required dedicated training content," she says.

"This was reinforced through conversations with various leaders across sector, all of whom are increasingly focused on reducing stock loss and minimising risk to their staff.

"Staff safety and well being is receiving heightened priority with the amendment of the Health and Safety Act."

Theft in the pharmaceutical industry is a serious problem that is identified as a precursor for other crimes, especially those by vulnerable members of communities, Wellington Police Sergeant Mathew McKenzie says.

The police have already hosted many retail-focused sessions for the wider industry, and have trained hundreds of staff to limit the potential of shoplifting over the past few years.

According to Retail Institute, New Zealand retailers lose almost $1 billion a year as a result of theft errors and fraud, or a massive $2.7 million a day.

“No retailer is exempt from being a target," Nicholson says. "[There's] an increase in high end stores who never thought they were affected by the theft are wanting more support and advice in this area."

The event will take place on Wednesday 9 March.

It is expected other Council’s will soon follow Wellington’s lead, as  Nicholson says that other city councils are best advised to begin similar initiatives in their regions.

"They [City Councils] need to be connected with what’s happening at street level, Wellington City Council have front footed this, the collaborative approach between Council & Police is key to the initiative's success."

EVENT DETAILS:

Wednesday 9 March 7.30am – 8.45am – Wellington Central Police Station, Victoria St, Wellington.

The session is free for pharmacies. However, registrations are appreciated for catering and logistics purposes. Email Lisa Cho at PSL: l.cho@psl.co.nz

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