Can You Trust Your Staff? We Look at the Statistics

Posted on 28th April 2015

From trusted employees to new recruits, the line between staff member and thief can become blurred for any number of reasons. From opportunistic thefts, to theft and fraud resulting from desperate circumstances or even stemming from bad blood, an estimated 64% of small businesses are affected by employee theft, with just 16% ultimately reporting the crime.

As CCTV specialists, it’s our job to protect your business, but not all thefts come from outside. In fact, it’s often those you know who perpetrate thefts within your business. We install CCTV systems which closely monitor your premises, keeping your business safe inside and out.

We’ve seen all sort of things captured by our cameras, but just how worried should you be about employee theft? We take a look at the UK statistics…

cctv surveillance

Employee theft is decreasing

According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), the rate of employee theft has been falling for over a decade, even throughout the economic recession. In 2003/4 17,700 instances of employee theft were reported, accounting for 0.5% of total thefts that year.

The number of reported employee thefts has decreased year-on-year since 2003/4. In 2013/14 10,315 cases were reported, yet dwindling overall theft figures mean that in 2013/14 employee theft accounted for a steady 0.6% of thefts.

Overall, the UK has seen a 41.7% drop in reported employee thefts over the eleven years leading up to 2014.

Keeping it quiet

Levels of overall theft are decreasing in the UK, but it’s worth remembering that the majority of employee theft goes unreported and even unnoticed. For some businesses the hassle and expense of reporting an internal crime is prohibitive. For others, empathy with staff members can stand in the way.

Many firms prefer to deal with low level employee theft on their own terms. Despite the positive looking figures, this is still a big problem for the UK’s businesses, whether they know it or not.

Corporate fraud

And it’s not just fingers in tills or stationary from stock cupboards which harm businesses from the inside. In 2014 1646 corporate frauds were carried out by employees, that’s more than four cases every single day.

The cost of crime

Despite a reduction in reported incidents, employee theft costs the UK millions of pounds every year. Although the year saw a drop of 4.8% in 2012/13, employee theft and fraud still cost British businesses a whopping £1,681 million.

Employee theft and fraud (or at least the reporting of such incidents) may be declining. But the cost to business in the UK is still huge. To help combat internal crime, we recommend expert CCTV systems, designed to capture criminal behaviour and to function as a deterrent to would-be thieves.

To learn more about our approach to tackling employee crime, contact the Alert CCTV team today on 0207 383 3080.

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