5 Ways Security Cameras Prevent & Stop Employee Theft

Employee theft is a serious problem for retailers across the country. StatisticBrain.com reports that $50 billion is stolen annually from U.S. businesses by employees, and 75 percent of employees admit to stealing at least once from their employer. So what can retail business owners do to prevent this? Install a video surveillance security system. Employees are less likely to steal when they know that they are being watched.

The National Retail Federation reports that the average loss from dishonest employee costs was $1,233.77 in 2015. While professionally installed camera systems are not a cheap initial investment, retailers find that the technology quickly pays for itself. In order to best inform business owners, we have compiled a list of five ways security cameras prevent and stop employee theft.

1 – The Simple Act of Installing Cameras Causes Positive Change

In many cases, the simple act of installing high-tech surveillance cameras leads to crooked employees quitting, and it makes others think twice before making a decision to act dishonestly.

Practically speaking, the presence of cameras automatically deters criminal activity amongst employees because of the threat of being caught. When cameras are present, one begins to think about the consequences of his or her actions more.

5 Ways Security Cameras Prevent & Stop Employee Theft

2 – Security Cameras Aid With Liability Claims

According to BusinessInsurance.com, Chuck E. Cheese’s reduced claims costs by $600,000 from 2009-2012 by installing security cameras throughout each of its 510 company-owned stores. “We’ve made a number of claims literally vanish once we produce the video footage to show that what the claimant says, whether it’s an employee or a guest, … didn’t really happen,” said Jeff Strege, the company’s director of risk management.

In the same article, Christopher Flatt, the head of Marsh Inc.’s Worker’s Compensation Center of Excellence, emphasized the importance of security cameras to monitor workplace safety. “The added benefit is having tape of potential injuries or claimed injuries and being able to validate them,” Flatt said.

3 – Cameras Pointed at Point of Sale Locations Increase Safety for Employees and Customers Alike

According to VideoSurveillance.com, the cash register is an extremely sensitive area and should be monitored at all times. Retail security cameras should be mounted above the register to monitor and observe all activity taking place at the register, including transactions, refunds and money counting. By installing a security camera pointed at the register, you can catch employee theft and deter customers from committing a crime. Also, if a robbery does occur, you will have clear and useful footage of the incident, which may help the authorities find the culprit and get your money back.

4 – Install Cameras Where High-Value Items are Stored

Many retail locations, like convenience stores for example, have a “high value item” storage area where things like expensive technology, tobacco products and alcohol are stored. When there are many items in storage and no cameras there to record footage, employees can get the idea to steal something here and there. And if your employees find that it’s easy to get away with stealing items, they may decide to start stealing money and it can become a very slippery slope.

You could even go a step further and pair a video surveillance system with an Electronic Access Control System so that you not only have video footage of whoever accesses the high value storage area, but also an electronic record of who entered the space throughout the day. Pairing your video surveillance system with an electronic access control system creates a highly effective security environment.

5 – Install Cameras Where Employees Check-In to Prevent Payroll Fraud

According to Forbes, payroll fraud happens in 27 percent of all businesses. On top of that, payroll fraud occurs nearly twice as often in small organizations, with the average instance of payroll fraud lasting about 36 months. As Forbes puts it, “the reality is payroll fraud is not preventable, but it is catchable. The key is catching it and minimizing the risk.” With a video surveillance system installed where employees check in, you can do exactly that. If you get suspicious of a certain employee’s hours log, simply go back and check the tape to see if he or she is being honest about hours.

Entrusting your business’ safety to a professional security company is one of the smartest decisions one can make as a business owner. Yes, you could purchase the cameras yourself, but most security experts advise against doing that. Why? Well, look at it this way, if your car is acting up and you attempt to fix it yourself, but a bigger problems arises and totals your car, you have no one to blame but yourself. When it comes to something as serious as the safety of your business, it would be smart to trust the pros.


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