Protect your business against crime

Business security: stock and theft prevention


Keeping stock secure depends on knowing what you have and where it is located, so you should keep records of when stock is sold, used, replaced, or thrown away. In order to keep stock secure, you should:

  • keep records of stock with regular stock checks - including deliveries
  • stock control system - ensure a system of reporting stock variations is in place and amendments to the records only take place after authorisation, see stock control systems - keeping track using computer software
  • keep stock away from doors and in a place where it takes an obvious action to reach
  • use secure lockable, fireproof cabinets or rooms for high-value stock
  • use mirrors or closed-circuit television (CCTV) to keep stock and equipment monitored
  • try to limit the number of people who have access to valuable stock

Thieves and shoplifters

Staff should always be vigilant for any suspicious behaviour and should take appropriate action, such as reporting an incident. Suspicious behaviour could include:

  • choosing purchases quickly
  • trying to rush the transaction
  • working in groups to distract your staff
  • splitting purchases between different debit or credit cards

To find out what else you can do to deter this type of crime, see top tips to reduce shoplifting.

Prevent theft by staff

There are a number of measures you can take to combat theft by staff, for example:

  • create an honest work culture - educate your staff about the potential costs of theft and have a clear, communicated policy on this issue
  • restrict access to warehouses, stockrooms, and stationery cupboards
  • install CCTV in staff car parks
  • regularly change staff who control stock to avoid collusion or bad practice

Staff credentials

Before you employ a new staff member, you should check the identity of the staff member and their references thoroughly.

You are also required to check that potential employees have the right to work in the UK. See pre-employment checks.