Employee theft is big business, unfortunately. Research released last year, revealed that two thirds of employees responding admitted stealing from their workplace, and that the calculated annual cost to businesses on the back of it is around £190 million.
But as well as being an issue of cost, it is also an issue of trust, making it a sensitive area when it comes to investigations.
The Cost of Dishonesty
“Around eighty per cent of theft of all items stolen is by employees put in positions of trust and responsibility,” Tony Smith, Director of Operations at Insight, points out. “Dishonesty costs businesses, and their customers, if they have to build the cost of employee theft into their pricing structure to maintain their margins.”
“For many businesses, they know that they are suffering from employee theft, but being able to take effective action is difficult,” continues Tony. “They must remain sensitive to employee rights while somehow being able to gather evidence. They will have trusted employees who they rely on, with whom they do not want to damage relations.”
“Using a private investigation service offers an ideal solution to what can appear a real problem. This can minimise disruption and be unobtrusive, while unearthing solid evidence to enable businesses to act against employees who are stealing from them”
Conversely, it can also be beneficial for companies to make the use of an outside investigation agency much more obvious.
“Sometimes it’s about the deterrent value alongside the actual gathering of evidence,” Tony says, “sending out a clear signal to employees that theft will be found out and not be tolerated.”
Are Your Ideas Safe?
Intellectual property crime is a growing area of concern, especially with the spread of digital technology.
“Intellectual property crime can be either digital or physical,” Tony remarks. “Physically it involves counterfeit goods, and copyright piracy. Digitally it covers the copying and distributing of digital files.”
Again, private investigations can be an invaluable tool in evidence-gathering and, ultimately, in deterring intellectual property crime.
“Employee theft can take many different forms, and can have far-reaching consequences”
Companies can take various forms of preventative and security-conscious action, but when theft occurs, we’re on hand to provide the right level of diligent, professional evidence-gathering and research to expose the crime and give the right advice on how to prevent it happening again,” Tony concludes.