. A haul of prescription drugs, including Temazepam and Diazepam were stolen from Fullarton’s Pharmacy at St George’s Market in a terrifying raid that left staff shaken after being threatened with a hammer, and cops concerned for the safety of the public should the drugs be sold on the streets.
There has been a worrying rise in the abuse of prescription pills right across the city recently, to the extent that it’s believed that in some areas, they are overtaking traditional illegal narcotics as the ‘drug of choice’.
It is also feared that the pills could be sold to youths in local areas, and Gerard Davison of the Markets Development Association slammed those behind the hold up, and called for anyone who comes across the pills to hand them over to the group for safe disposal.
“This was an absolutely brutal incident on staff at the pharmacy, who work closely with the Markets community and provide an essential service for many people,” he said.
“Unfortunately, we know that for some people, not just in the Markets but in working-class communities right across Belfast, the addictive nature of prescription drugs is becoming a real problem. This would suggest there could be a market for these pills, but people must be aware of the very real danger of taking such pills without prescription.
“They are potentially lethal, and I would urge anyone with concerns about them or who comes across these drugs to come and speak to us. We will be happy to provide advice and even dispose of these pills by handing them over to the local council.”
A spokesman for Fullarton’s Pharmacy declined to comment on the raid, but police said staff were “badly shaken” by their ordeal.
“A quantity of controlled drugs, including Temazepam and Diazepam was stolen, along with a sum of cash,” a PSNI spokesman said.
“The two males made off on foot into the Markets area.
“The members of staff were not injured, however they were left badly shaken. Police are warning the public not to take these tablets, as they are dangerous to health if taken without being prescribed by a member of the medial profession.
“Anyone who finds or has these tablets is asked to hand them in to their nearest Police station as soon as possible. Police would ask anyone who was in the vicinity at the time of this robbery or anyone who has any information to contact them at Musgrave Police Station on 0845 600 8000. Or, if someone would prefer to provide information without giving their details, they can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers and speak to them anonymously on 0800 555 111.”