Employee theft from businesses in Great Britain costs over £190 million a year according to Barclays Bank.
Now as a small business ourselves, we know all about how losses can have a huge effect on the running of day to day business, and the unnecessary stress it can cause within a workplace.
Unfortunately, thieves operate everywhere… pick pockets in busy city centres, opportune thieves stealing parcels from people’s doorways and employees stealing from their workplace.
Why do employees steal?
We find a lot of the time it is due to one of two reasons. They are disgruntled in some way and want to ‘take something back’ or it was just the opportunity presented itself.
Seemingly decent people who most would never accuse of stealing find themselves staring at an opportunity that they just can’t turn away from. They do it once without being caught and then get a taste for it. This then spirals out of control and into a routine of stealing from their employer.
The disgruntled employee type is usually someone who has been in the company for a long time and feel their pay is stagnant, that they are somewhat “owed” something and feel stealing it is the best way. These employee types can sometimes even hold high positions within a company as well, but just want more. Click here to take a look at this news story of a disgruntled employee.
Of course, it is not limited to these two reasons but these are the most common that we have seen.
The most common item stolen from the workplace
Businesses now transport, use and sell almost anything. Employees have a lot of access to those goods so it’s not always hard to steal them!
With that said, fuel is the main one people steal. How it is stolen differs, but there are a lot of employees stealing company paid fuel.
This theft is one we can get solid evidence of, as the culprit has to use the fuel pump or other equipment to extract the fuel so we can gain clear video and pictures of them in the act. We can catch them red handed and have done so on multiple occasions now, all leading to dismissals as far as we’re aware.
What other items are stolen?
The one item you probably thought was stolen more than fuel is cash, however this is not the case. Now, cold hard cash is very, very hard to be pinned to an owner as it is passed so freely within a business, and needs to be passed freely for further use.
Typical tricks at the moment as prevention of theft are use of UV marker pens signed in a certain way but this is a system that needs to be policed very thoroughly to be maintained and even then, there’s no real justification that one £10.00 note isn’t legitimately an employee’s property if they have been paid in cash for example.
The main way we identify employee theft of cash is a hidden device aimed at a till or register which is monitored and then checked against the balance sheets to see what the difference is at the end.
This is usually specific to what a company is selling. Most often, the items stolen are then sold on at a highly discounted rate on the popular e-commerce websites, such as eBay or Facebook Marketplace. Mainly because consumers want a good bargain whilst getting the same product. Those e-commerce sites have lots of those about, 24 hours a day 7 days a week, even on Christmas.
We have seen and heard of all types of products being stolen. Meat products, mattresses, tyres, cabling and bricks straight from a building site.
How can Delta 74 Private Investigations help?
We can employ many varying methods of covert surveillance. If a theft is committed, we can gain solid evidence along with a comprehensive report to be used in disciplinary proceedings and if you so wish can be used by authorities.
We find sometimes employers feel an investigation into employee theft is cruel or fear their other employees will take it in a bad light however, theft is a criminal act and should be treated as such. According to more statistics, from the American Society of Employers, employees usually know about the theft happening from within their ranks.
Besides, are the losses you’re suffering worth not doing anything about?
To conclude, employee theft will never go away. We believe it will only get worse. If you suspect it is happening in your company then give us a call, we possess the discreet skills to help you find out the truth!
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