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preventing employee theft


Your Employees Are Stealing From You

Most theft against businesses is committed by employees of those businesses. Although a business may set up intricate systems of security to reduce employee theft, the most effective method for preventing employee theft is the installation of video surveillance cameras throughout the business.


After you install surveillance cameras, you will notice a marked difference in the behavior of your employees: they know they are on camera and they will change their behavior immediately. When they know they âre being videotaped, store clerks become more polite to customers, kitchen staff observe higher Health Department standards, and cashiers know that a camera is watching them every time they open the cash register. This has an immediate effect on your customer service and on your bottom line.


Video surveillance systems are now an essential element of business security. They are affordable and easy to install, and new allow you to zoom, pan and tilt your cameras from a remote location, to view your cameras from anywhere in the world via the Internet, and even to see clearly in total darkness.


Surveillance cameras should be placed everywhere your employees are throughout the business premises. Make sure that entrances and exits are well-covered, as well as hallways, common areas as well as private ones. Be sure to place good cameras over cash registers, safes, and the main computer server. Do not forget to place them in places like break-rooms and kitchens. People change their behavior when they know they are being watched. It’s like having a supervisor everywhere.


Post Warning Signs

If you intend using as evidence the footage you are recording, the law requires you to post signs that people are being recorded. “Smile, you are on camera” or “Premises under video surveillance” is sufficient. If you do not post such warning signs, you may not use the video as evidence. Some businesses prefer the anonymous route: they don’t post warning signs and use covert video for their own security purposes.

employee theft

Businesses often add a second surveillance camera system to the first one. This second system is often covert, and most employees do not know about this second system. This configuration records any attempt to tamper with the main DVR system.


If you record your camera output to a remote location on a permanent basis, this will make it impossible for anyone — employee or intruder — to prevent you from recording and keeping any incriminating footage. Either way, your DVR system should be kept in a locked drawer or cabinet, keep the access password confidential, and make sure one of your cameras is placed to get a good shot of the DVR system itself.


Archive Employee Video Footage

Employee surveillance footage must be kept for an extended period of time: if a situation arises with an employee, you may need to play back something that happened months ago. Camera footage should be backed up weekly, and stored in a different location for safety. You should keep archived employee footage for at least a year. You never know when you might need it. And if you do, you’ll be glad you have it.

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