Employee Theft Investigation

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Employee Theft Investigation

"There is only one way to find out if a man is honest - ask him". (Groucho Marx).

It is fair to say the reason an employee steals from his employer is a complex subject, usually because those who commit theft often cannot, rather than will not, explain what motivates them.

A dishonest employee will steal money, stock, time, supplies and stationery - other assets such as computer or electronic equipment, fuel, tools, information, intellectual property and much more. So why do they do it? Let's take a closer look.

Weak Policies and Procedures

Weak policies and procedures not only increase levels of shrinkage, they provide the dishonest employee with the ambiguity he needs to present a logical explanation for losses occurring, thus hiding the offence in plain sight.

Good policies and procedures answer the questions: what? when? why? who? and how? providing your employees with structure, direction and guidance whilst aligning responsibilities and accountability.

A process that is structured and well managed will deter those contemplating theft, fraud or other dishonesty. It also gives your employees a sense of pride as they strive to maintain a high standard.

A Permissive Culture

Imagine a new employee observes a member of the management team borrow cash from the till, or takes stock or stationery home, or eats product from the display on the notion he's forgotten his lunch and he will pay for it tomorrow? This type of permissive culture shouts out "I can do what I want".

A permissive culture is infectious and a new employee's perception will be that they too can indulge in this behaviour. They often do; it is just a matter of time.

A "turn a blind eye" culture, combined with failing to deal with breaches effectively, will significantly increase shrinkage levels across the organisation and directly impact your bottom line.

Opportunity

A permissive culture, combined with weak policies and procedures, presents a window of OPPORTUNITY for the dishonest employee to steal from you. Those employees that wouldn't normally stoop to this level may be tempted if their perception is one of "well everyone does it... so why shouldn't I do it too?".

The easier it becomes to steal, the stronger the belief that there is little or no chance of getting caught, resulting in perpetual theft that is fuelled by greed. It becomes a second income and soon enough the employee cannot stop until he is caught.

Personal Debt

An employee with high levels of personal debt (although this isn't always the case) may be inclined to steal from their employer as a way of supplementing their income. Unfortunately, debt can be attributed to other factors, such as alcohol, drugs and/or gambling addiction, which also induce other counter-productive work behaviours.

Job Satisfaction

Employees unhappy with their working environment are at increased risk of stealing from their organisation. There may be correlations between the employees' attitude towards their work environment, relationship with supervisors and/or the management team, as well as levels of staffing. This could lead them to feel dissatisfied and take revenge against the organisation for their perceived unfair treatment.

Perceived Low Pay

This is heavily linked to job satisfaction. An employee may steal because they believe they are not paid enough for the work they do. This can lead to the perception that they are being ripped off by your organisation. Disgruntled employees then justify stealing from the organisation as a bonus for their hard work or compensation for their perceived poor treatment.

How we can help?

If you suspect, or have evidence, that a theft, fraud or other dishonesty is taking place within your organisation, you should contact us without delay.

• We will provide you with an investigative plan, sharing with you the methodologies we will use.
• We will meticulously gather the evidence and conduct investigative interviews in line with your internal policies and procedures.
• Investigative interviews will be prepared and completed in line with the PEACE interviewing model.

Once we have completed our investigation, we will provide you with a detailed investigation report that may include, if needed, irrefutable date- and time-stamped photographic and/or video evidence that is admissible in court.

The report will also include any recommends for improving or strengthening your internal policies and procedures.

All of our investigations are conducted by highly skilled, professional investigators who work within the parameters of the law and to strict codes of conduct. Rest assured, you are in safe hands.

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Call us on 0121 270 7504 - 020 7859 4240 or 07572 914 272 or e-mail info@pax-animi.co.uk

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