Establish a theft policy for your business

One way to demonstrate how serious you are about reducing the impact of employee theft on your business is to create a theft policy and to publicise this with your team members.

Being open about theft, especially employee theft demonstrates it’s on your mind. While I am no psychologist, this could be enough to stop people who think they can get away with it. Remember, people steal because they think they can get away with it.

My experience is that newsagents tend to not manage to reduce theft. This makes our channel attracting to some. Theft reduction starts with decisions by the owners of the business.

Here is a sample policy that I use:


  1. Theft, any theft, is a crime against this business, its owners, employees and others who rely on us for their income.
  2. If you discover any evidence or have any suspicion of theft, please report it to the business owner or most senior manager possible immediately. Doing so could save a considerable cost to the business.
  3. We have a zero tolerance policy on theft. All claims will be reported to law enforcement authorities for their investigation.
  4. From time to time we have the business under surveillance in an effort to reduce theft. This may mean that you are photographed or recorded in some other way. By working here you accept this as a condition of employment.
  5. New employees are to provide permission for a police check prior to commencement of employment.
  6. Cash is never to be left unattended outside the cash drawer or a safe within the business.
  7. Credit and banking card payments are not to be accepted unless the physical card is presented and all required processes are followed for processing these.
  8. Employees caught stealing with irrefutable evidence face immediate dismissal to the extent permitted by local labour laws.
  9. Employees are not permitted to remove inventory from the store without permission.
  10. Employees are not permitted to provide a refund to a customer without appropriate management permission.
  11. Employees are not permitted to complete sales to themselves.
  12. Every £1 stolen from the business by customers and or employees can cost us up to £4 to recover. This is why vigilance on theft is mission critical for our retail store.




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