Theft takes on many forms from petty pilfering to theft of intellectual property. It is our experience that, almost all businesses are prone to petty theft of some nature, be it from stealing company stationery, company time or the misuse of company property.
In most cases, the main objective is to reduce incidents of theft within a company by evaluating the present systems in place and interviewing staff members. Other recourses have been to prosecute and/or dismiss staff members who are guilty of such illegal practices, thereby setting the tone of policy adopted within the company. Experience has proven that this course of action is effective for a period of time, but follow-up assessments are necessary in order to maintain a consistent high level of integrity amongst employees.
Theft in the workplace can also escalate to levels of organised theft on a grand scale involving an internal syndicate in liaison with outside assistance. Use of undercover agents in the workplace and technical surveillance usually yields effective results, although these investigations tend to be lengthy and drawn out.
Theft of intellectual property is a more sophisticated and analytical investigation and, like fraud, needs to be backed up by documentation and circumstance. Most cases of this nature are investigated in conjunction with the clients’ attorneys in order to reach a satisfactory conclusion and in most cases, are settled in a Civil Court of Law.
Similarly, theft of company secrets cases are investigated and settled in the same manner, but the use of technical and manual surveillance methods prove invaluable in proving a case.
All incidents of theft of any kind cannot go unchallenged as it will escalate and adversely affect profit margins on an ongoing downward spiral. Absorbing losses by passing them on to the consumer is only a short-term solution that tends to mask the problem. When the cause of the problem is addressed, it is often too late for damage control and whole systems, as well as staff compliments, have to be changed. Address the problem in its infancy and save your company the long-term effects and embarrassment of re-structuring embedded policies.
If you just think you might be a victim of corporate theft, contact us and provide us with as much information as you have about your situation.