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How to Stop Employee Theft

How to Stop Employee Theft

As an employer taking on new staff, you often have to make decisions based on nothing more than a CV or application form, an interview and perhaps some references from previous employers.

No matter how good a judge of character you are, it’s actually quite difficult to make an accurate assessment of someone under such circumstances. Mostly, we get it right, but it can be very easy to get it wrong occasionally as well.

How to stop employee theft

If your business is dealing in valuable items, or you use expensive equipment as part of your processes, you need to be sure that you’re not making it easy for your employees to make off with things they shouldn’t. Even if what you have is of relatively low value, regular pilfering by dishonest members of your staff will quickly eat into your profits.

You might not want to think about the possibility, and you may be naturally inclined to trust your team all the way, but there is something known as the 10-80-10 rule. This says that 10% of people will always aim to be honest, 80% can be dishonest in certain situations or under certain circumstances, and 10% will always steal if the opportunity arises. This is likely to be as true for your staff as for any other group of people. 

The risks are particularly high for shops, warehouses and other businesses holding large amounts of diverse stock – some of which will be small and easy to pilfer – and with large numbers of short-term workers.

This article will examine some of the ways you can prevent your employees from taking advantage of your good nature and an opportune moment.

Access control

One of the best ways of keeping an eye on your employees is to use access control and door entry systems so that you know who is on site or in particular areas of your business at any one time. Trying to narrow down who might be responsible for theft when you’ve got people coming and going at all times and no idea who is where will be almost impossible.

Using fast and simple solutions such as keyfobs and keypad access will make it easy for your staff to move about your premises without significant holdups, but will also allow you to track them as they do so.


CCTV and surveillance cameras are perhaps the most effective tool at your disposal as they are a proven deterrent and can provide indisputable evidence of any wrongdoing. It’s important you give careful thought as to where you place them, however, because you don’t want to have blind spots people will be able to take advantage of. Getting the advice of an expert – like one of the experienced engineers at Scutum South East – is always a good idea. 

Remember that under data protection laws, your employees must be aware that the cameras are there and why you are using them – if you say that they are there for security purposes, you cannot also use them for spying on your staff to make sure they are working hard enough (or vice versa).

Lone worker monitoring

There’s no better time for a dishonest employee to help themselves to what they shouldn’t than when they know there’s no one watching them. If your employee is alone in your business premises, perhaps during a night shift, the temptation to take advantage of the situation could be overwhelming.

Lone worker monitoring can cover two bases, in that it can act as a way for a lone worker to know that they are not completely unsupported, while also keeping an eye on what they’re doing. 

Keep your business secure from crime by talking to the security experts at Scutum South East. With free site visits, free and competitive quotations, and bespoke systems tailored to the individual needs of your premises, there’s no better way to prevent crime from all sources.

Get in touch with us now to find out more – we work with companies and organisations located across the South East of England, including London and Surrey.

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About Scutum South East

Scutum South East is a leading expert in fire safety and security solutions for businesses and organisations located across South East England, including London and Surrey.

From fire alarms, fire extinguishers and fire risk assessments to access control, CCTV and intruder alarm systems – and a lot more besides – we offer a comprehensive range of products and services designed to keep you, your business and your staff and visitors safe.

With decades of industry experience to call on, we’re proud to hold accreditations from leading trade associations and bodies such as British Approvals for Fire Equipment (BAFE), the British Fire Consortium, the Fire Industry Association (FIA) and Security Systems and Alarms Inspection Board (SSAIB).

If you’d like to find out more about Scutum South East, get in touch with our friendly team or explore our products and services on our site.


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