Workplace theft seems to be on the rise, and no company is immune. A 2016 poll recently revealed that two thirds of UK office-based employees confessed that they had stolen from their workplace. It is estimated that it costs the UK economy a staggering £73 billion per year. No matter what the cost is of the items stolen, workplace theft left unchecked can escalate to damaging levels.
Most employers don’t for many reasons want to involve the police in internal criminal matters and to be honest the police wouldn’t probably want to get their already stretched resources involved in matters not considered in the public interest to prosecute.
So how can companies address the issue of internal thefts?
- Ensure all relevant policies that may need to be referred to, are implemented and communicated to all employees. Include in the company handbook
- Ensure an asset management register is in place and continually reviewed
- Implement stock controls that will highlight areas of shrinkage both in terms of wastage and malpractice
- Implement a documented and managed procurement system that will flag up anomalies
- Make sure you know who you are hiring. Screen all potential candidates according to the level of risk they pose to the business. Carry out a drugs and alcohol test
- Implement a whistleblowing hotline as most reports of theft are revealed by co-workers. Make sure you comply with the Public Interest Disclosure Act
- Carry out regular audits
- Install CCTV and access controls in high risk areas. Ensure it complies with Data Protection legislation and impact assessments are documented. Make sure location and purposes of CCTV are reasonable, prominent notices are displayed and staff are aware of purposes
- Employ independent specialist companies to undertake overt or covert surveillance operations when justified. Send letter of engagement detailing objectives and importance of complying, as the client’s Data Processor, with the 8 principles of the Data Protection Act
BP Associates have the depth of skills, knowledge and experience to assist clients manage internal or external theft issues.
To find out how BP Associates can assist you with your investigation call us on 08450 519389 or click on the link.