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Employee theft reports rise

Police have recorded more than 100 reported cases of employee thefts this year, but say that number is probably far from the number of employee thefts that actually happened in 2011.

According to Inspector Matthew Edgecombe, head of the Central Detective Unit’s Business and Technology Management Section, the 100 matters are more than police received last year. However, he was not able to provide the figure for 2010.

“We have seen an increase [of reports] in the number of employee thefts from business places from the employers,” Edgecombe told The Nassau Guardian.

“We want to encourage the employers to put measures in place and do your due diligence with employees. If they are going out to deliver, you have to have some check and balance system in place. When you let down your guard that’s when things happen.”

But Edgecombe said most business owners impacted by such crimes do not report them, but fire employees found stealing.

The 2011 Chamber of Commerce Economic Crime Survey revealed similar findings.

The study shows that economic crime has been identified as a “serious and growing threat to all businesses” in The Bahamas with more than 50 percent of Bahamian businesses that participated in the survey reporting incidents of crime.

“Economic crime has been growing around the world, and things are no different in The Bahamas,” said the report, which was released earlier this month by the Bahamas Chamber of Commerce and Employers Confederation.

Economic crime has been identified as the intentional use of deceit to deprive another of money, property or a legal right.

An online survey with 87 questions was e-mailed to 1,100 Chamber members on May 31.  A total of 79 Chamber members responded to the survey.

Edgecombe noted that some employees steal from their employers in a variety of ways.

“For instance, if you have someone who delivers items to a food store they would steal the merchandise from you.  So you have to be careful who you hire,” he said.

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