One in ten employees in the retail sector have committed a crime against their company in the last 12 months, according to figures published by security firm G4S Secure Solutions (G4S SS).
The research has shown that staff eating and drinking goods without paying for them was the most frequent misdemeanor, with the equivalent of 110,000 workers admitted to this type of theft.
G4S SS’s study was conducted by ICM, a market research firm that interviewed a random sample of 2,025 adults across the UK and weighted to the profile of all adults. Numerical estimates were calculated using the findings in combination with data from the British Retail Consortium (BRC).
Using these figures, the survey suggests that 55,000 retail staff have stolen directly from the till before.
Other problems identified by the research include retail employees turning a blind eye to family members deliberately putting weighted items through self-service checkouts with cheaper product codes and theft at various points in the supply chain process.
Douglas Greenwell, Sales & Marketing Director at G4S Secure Solutions in the UK, commented: “Retailers often have a very high staff turnover and recruit significant volumes of casual and temporary workers, so it is difficult for them to screen and vet all the people they employ effectively.
“Unfortunately, this means that a minority of employees in the industry are happy to take advantage of their employer either deliberately, or through being ignorant about the consequences.”
Of course, retailers face the ongoing battle of theft by customers too.
The BRC’s Retail Crime Survey, published earlier this month, showed that although incidents of shoplifting and most other types of retail crime fell in 2010, the total value of goods stolen was still a significant £137 million.