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Off the shelf

Our client had a warehouse, full to bursting with valuable and very desirable stock. In-house pilfering was an ongoing problem. This became particularly acute at Christmas, when losses tended to escalate. Many security measures were in place, including CCTV but these were fairly easily overridden when a warehouse Manager decided to supplement his income by removing substantial quantities of stock.

The Manager made mistakes and was fairly quickly caught in the act and dismissed with a criminal prosecution to follow. A problem remained. It was evident the Manager had been working with one or more fellow employees and person(s) on the outside. We were tasked with trying to identify those involved.

The Police were happy for us to conduct the investigation. They had interviewed the Manager and he was not prepared to provide any information.

We conducted a series of interviews on site. These were conducted informally and staff were invited to offer their views on where security had broken down and what might be done to improve matters. They were also invited to comment on the situation in relation to their recently dismissed Manager.

Some interesting comments were noted and several lapses of security identified. Certain members of staff were uncooperative and others expressed some sympathy with the Manager. There was an attitude ‘That if the directors don’t bother with security then anyone will take advantage’.

Much more interesting was the information imparted to our undercover operative who had been placed in the warehouse ten days before the interviews began. The relatively soft approach of the interviews relaxed certain members of the warehouse staff to the point they were boastful and very indiscreet. Within two days of interviews, we had identified three members of staff who were complicit in the organised theft of stock and who had been ‘assisting’ the Manager in his criminal activities.

Our undercover operative was also able to identify weaknesses in security procedures and to prove the point was able to remove a large quantity of stock, place it in the boot of his car, photograph it and return it to the shelves without anyone, or any system picking it up.

If you have a security problem call +44 (0)1986 892006 or email The initial consultation is free.