Calgary has been experiencing a surge in pharmacy theft with 42 pharmacies targeted since September 2020. It may seem like a small number but compared to the single pharmacy robbery in 2019, this is a huge increase.
Staff have been held up at gunpoint as well as tied up and locked in bathrooms in more recent cases.
And with ongoing debates over COVID and vaccines, many pharmacies owners and managers are concerned about the safety of their staff and customers. To help make sure that your pharmacy is safe during the pandemic and as vaccines roll out, consider these 4 steps. Identify Risks
Pharmacies have a variety of security weaknesses:
- How you manage access to medication
- Employee theft
- Delivery procedures
- Line ups due to limited occupancy
- Other COVID limitations
When it comes to improving your security, the first step is to get a professional security expert to identify your weak spots and build a security plan unique to your company’s specific needs.Train Your Staff
While you employees should never put their life at risk to protect your business, they should be able to identify security concerns around your pharmacy. Train your staff on which peculiar behaviours to look out for from employees and customers.
For example, a customer who wanders around your pharmacy for an extended period or stands at the prescription counter longer than normal may be trying to work out which type of drugs your pharmacy has on hand.
Similarly, employees who show peculiar behaviour when around prescription drugs could also be pilfering from your pharmacy. However, it’s incredibly important not to foster a mistrusting company culture as this will negatively affect your business.
Use Managed Access Control
Your pharmacy contains a high quantity of valuable assets, especially now when it is so hard for many to obtain the prescriptions they need. So, how can you add an extra layer of security? By using managed access control.
Also known as keyless entry, managed access control better protects medications and gives you better oversight over who is accessing them. By limiting access to rooms that hold vulnerable prescription drugs to specific employees, you’ll know exactly who was in a room when the stock went missing.Panic Buttons
In the case of an emergency, panic buttons will allow your team to instantly alert the monitoring company to help protect your team from harm.
Panic buttons should be strategically placed throughout your pharmacy in hidden places that are easily reached by your employees. While the best places vary from one business to another, they are generally most effective in areas that are considered the front lines of your business - such as the front desk.
You may also want to install buttons in the back offices where managers might be able to see threats as well, or in the offices of key individuals.Consider Verified Security
A verified security solution is by far the best way your pharmacy can protect its assets, employees and customers from the effects of crime.
Unlike conventional CCTV systems that just record break-ins and theft while they are in action, verified video security immediately verifies an intrusion and alerts police through a central monitoring station. This means officers can be dispatched faster to catch criminals in the act - before they can cause damage, steal from your business, hurt bystanders or getaway.
SonaVision from Sonitrol Western Canada monitors the perimeter and interior of your pharmacy and is activated by sensitive motion and heat controls. That’s why we have the highest criminal apprehension rate in the industry, with more than 175,000 apprehensions to date.
There is a lot of uncertainty in today’s climate and many people are driven by panic, fear and outrage. The good news is you can help mitigate the risk this uncertainty causes for your pharmacy by staying prepared and by investing in a top-quality integrated security system like Sonitrol.