Theft by employees

How to prevent employee theft from your business, and what to do if there has been a theft.

Prevent employee theft from your business and learn how to report a theft by staff. 

Key crime prevention tips

To prevent employee theft:

  • secure the store
  • train your staff
  • supervise your staff
  • reward your staff. 

Employee theft prevention information

Crime prevention tips on how to prevent employee theft.

Secure your business

Business security plays a big part in theft prevention:

  • Provide a secure area and lockers for personal belongings. 
  • Ensure access control for entrances and areas with high-value goods. Minimise the number of staff with keys and use trackable access cards. 
  • Install CCTV and ensure employees are aware that they are under observation. 
  • Conduct regular stock counts to identify potential stock thefts. 

Train your staff

 Training and support can prevent cases of employee theft at your business:

  • Provide an induction program for new employees. 
  • Communicate acceptable behaviour and unacceptable behaviour.
  • Provide ongoing retail security training.
  • Communicate the correct process for employee purchases. 
  • Ensure staff know the opening and closing procedures. 

Supervise your staff and background checks

Be aware of employees' previous workplaces, responsibilities, and behaviour at work:

  • When hiring staff, conduct reference checks, and sight original photographic identification.
  • Conduct National Police Criminal History Checks for new employees. Renew these checks regularly. 
  • Make supervision expectations and processes clear to managers and staff. 
  • Choose managers based on their past ethical behaviour. 

Reward your staff

Recognise employee hard work and loyalty:

  • Rewarding staff can help prevent future issues. 

What to do if there has been a theft

If there has been a theft and you own or manage the business:

  •  Report the offence immediately.

If there has been a theft and you work in the business:

  • Tell your supervisor or manager immediately.
  • As a witness, report the offence rather than waiting for your manager to report it. 

Report a theft or suspicious behaviour

No issue is too small to report. Report suspicious behaviour to police.

In an emergency, to report a crime in progress, or for immediate police attendance, call Triple Zero (000).

For non-emergencies, call the Police Assistance Line on 131 444, or report online at Police Assistance Line and Online Reporting.

You can report anonymously to Crime Stoppers by making an online report, or by calling 1800 333 000.