Why CCTV is a good investment for UK Pharmacies - Case Study

With crime on the rise, CCTV has become an essential part to any business that operates within the public domain – including pharmacies. Here at 2020 Vision, we have investigated the reasons why pharmacies need CCTV systems installed, and how video analytics can help asset protection within a pharmaceutical store in Britain.

Pharmacy crime

From research carried out by Chemist and Druggist, 45 police authorities across the UK revealed the statistics behind crime carried out in pharmacies within their area of operation; however, 10 different authorities were unable to publicise their record. Below you can find out how much crime was committed within pharmacies during 2016.

North East and Yorkshire

In the North East, the authority controlled by South Yorkshire Police had the highest total of crime in pharmacies with 1,170 incidents. 1,030 of these were shoplifting offences, there were 43 burglaries and robberies and 17 violent crimes and arson attacks. However, the authority covered by Durham Constabulary had the least amount of crime with only 89 reports in 2016. This included 48 shoplifting offences, 7 burglaries and robberies and 1 violent crime and arson related attack.

North West (including Northern Ireland)

In the North West, the Police Service in Northern Ireland saw the most crime in pharmacies during 2016 with 620 reported cases. 449 of these were associated with shoplifting, 23 were related to burglaries and robberies and 28 were associated with violent crimes and arson attacks. Lancashire Constabulary was the authority with the lowest crime rate in pharmacies with a low of 16 reports. None of these were identified as shoplifting operations and violent crimes and attacks, however, 12 of these were classed as burglaries and robberies.


South Wales Police has reportedly the highest crime rates within pharmacies. Although there was no total crime number revealed, we can see that there were 276 shoplifting offences, 4 burglaries and robberies and 2 violet crimes and arson attacks. The police authority with the lowest pharmacy crime rate was Dyfed-Powys Police with a total of 40 claims. 21 of these were shoplifting offences, 4 came under as burglaries and robberies, and there was 1 reported violent crime and arson attack.

West Midlands

From the research available, Staffordshire Police was the authority that had the most crime in pharmacies with 807 offences. 652 of these were shoplifting cases, 36 burglaries and robberies and 8 violent crimes and arson attacks. The authority with the lowest crime rates in pharmacies we could find was Warwickshire Police with 222 total crimes. 179 of these were related to shoplifting, 4 burglaries and robberies, 5 violent crimes and 1 confirmed arson attack. However, we must note that the West Midlands Police force did not provide any data so our ranking of the highest and lowest authority was pulled together with the authorities we had data for.

East Midlands

Nottinghamshire Police controlled the authority that had the highest amount of crime in pharmacies with 446 reports. 396 of these were shoplifting cases, 12 burglaries and robberies and 9 violent crimes/arson attacks. However, when we look at the lowest crime rates in the East Midlands, we can see that Northamptonshire Police was the controlling force in that area with a total of 186 crimes. 148 of these were related to shoplifting incidents, 11 were burglaries and robberies and 12 were violent crimes and arson attacks.

East of England

When looking for results, Hertfordshire Constabulary and Essex Police were unable to gather information as it cost too much. With the results we do have for Bedfordshire, Cambridge, Norfolk and Suffolk, we can see that Bedfordshire Police operated in the authority with the highest pharmacy crime rates. This included 303 shoplifting operations, 8 burglaries and robbers and 15 violent crimes/arson attacks. There was also 1 report of sexual assault. The lowest police authority was handled by the Suffolk Constabulary that had a low crime rate of 51. This included 30 shoplifts, 4 burglaries and robberies and 4 violent crimes and arson attacks.

South West

For the South West Region, there was no data given from the Avon & Somerset Constabulary, Gloucestershire Constabulary and Wiltshire Constabulary. However, with the results available, the authority with the highest pharmacy crime rate was Devon & Cornwall with 639. This included 562 shoplifting offences, 19 burglaries and robberies and 2 violent crimes and arson. The lowest authority was Dorset, with 371 crimes committed in pharmacies. This equalled to 301 shoplifting crimes, 10 burglaries and robberies and 3 violent crimes and arson attacks.

South East

When looking at the South East Region, results from Hampshire Constabulary, Surrey Police and Thames Valley Police weren’t obtainable. However, with the results that were available, the authority with the highest crime rate in pharmacies was controlled by Sussex Police with 677 crimes committed. This included 558 shoplifting offences, 21 burglaries and robberies and 14 violent crimes and arson attack. From the records available, the police authority with the lowest crime was Kent Police where 519 crimes in pharmacies were carried out. Including 467 shoplifting offences, 11 burglaries and robberies and 12 violent crimes and arson attacks.

Results for the following were unavailable: City of London Police, Metropolitan Police Service and police Scotland.

The College of Policing’s Crime Reduction Toolkit has also found that out of every 100 crimes committed, an average of 16 crimes managed to be prevented due to the use of CCTV and with the figures above, it is clear that CCTV needs to be one of the safety measures put in place to prevent future crime within pharmacies.

Video analytics and CCTV

There are many ways that a pharmacy can help protect themselves from future crime and one option that is often overlooked is the use of video analytics regarding CCTV. Video analytics can use recognition and classification to determine whether an object within the frame is a threat – these are different to how normal detectors work as they will pick up anything that is moving. VA can identify what that object actually is. VA has the knowledge to the likes of nature movements as well as heat extraction units that would normally set off a motion detector – reducing the number of false alarms.

2020 Vision can help businesses like pharmacies protect themselves through the use video analytics. Some of the key areas that can help prevent crime are:


Video analytics can gather real time footage, which can help detect any suspicious behaviour that may be occurring – an example of this would be someone taking an item off the shelf and leaving the store without making a payment. It also makes it simpler to locate the incident directly which will save time when monitoring the actual footage. It’s a great addition to any store that wants to protect their assets.

Face recognition

If you didn’t catch the criminal in action last time, video analytics will do the job for you. When using facial recognition, a database is built up with profiles of people who come in and leave your store. This can then try to find the closest match and identify the person straight away – this is useful if you want to blacklist certain individuals who want to come into the store. Oppose to a blacklist, you can make a VIP list which can help make staff aware of important people. Access control verification will be able to identify individuals and confirm who they are.

Suspicious movement

Video analytics can monitor a person who might be moving in a suspicious direction, for example moving behind a counter or going into an area where they do not have permission. This can help control crowd movement in stores. However, this is used regularly for airport security and places like train stations.

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Peter Houlis - 2020 Vision Systems Limited

Peter Houlis


2020 Vision Systems Limited
28 Northumberland Square
North Shields
Tyne & Wear
NE30 1PW
United Kingdom

Tel. +44. 0191 296 2662

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