Property Crime Spikes During the COVID-19 Pandemic - What to do to protect your business
Increased fraud and theft during hard times is nothing new, with scammers and opportunistic criminals playing on the fear and financial insecurities of others, as cited by a recent article from CNBC. Increased fraud has been a common global trend since the 2008 recession and is beginning to up-tick due to the current pandemic. Read More
Businesses are not safe from this spike – as peoples’ financial futures are at risk they may look to fraud or outright theft to lighten their load. From February 2020 to March 2020, we have seen a 50% spike in incidents across our 10,000+ customers’ locations. Yet many businesses are still not prepared with proactive and preventative measures to deter and recoup theft.
Employee theft increases 50% on average during recessions
“A significant amount of employee-related theft is driven by the economy and the impact of the economy on employees’ families”
said a partner at New York-based forensic accounting firm Dempsey Partners L.L.C. Read more
This means that as employees perceive a risk to their families’ financial security they are more likely to seek out opportunities to compensate for this loss. An immediate and accessible area for them is their workplace, from merchandise & supply theft to time theft to outright cash theft and transaction fraud — every company provides this ‘opportunity’.
Out-of-work people commit 60% more property crimes
“Even with reduced hours of operation for our stores we have seen an increase in total (LP) events and the average dollar value of each event is increasing.”
Director of loss prevention at a major pharmacy chain. Read More
Crimes such as theft, shoplifting, burglary and vandalism are rising, presumably as a result of the increasing unemployment rates — despite stay at home orders. Major cities across the country are reporting spikes in property crimes. To top it off, we are navigating this rise in property crime through unprecedented times where social distancing poses a new challenge for jails and stay at home orders and self-quarantines are limiting city resources.
NYPD has seen a 75% increase in reports of burglaries March 2020
“We knew with the closing of many stores that we could see an increase and, unfortunately, we are”
said NYPD Chief of Crime Control Strategies Michael LiPetri. Read more
Thieves are most commonly entering closed businesses like eateries and retail stores, and breaking in through front doors, back entrances and rooftops. While commercial burglaries are increasing, other major crimes have dropped by almost 20% vs last year in New York City. Building on the increase of property crime, New York is also seeing a sudden rise in commercial burglaries at supermarkets and convenience stores, possibly driven by the newly increased demand for food and other consumables.
Measures Every Business Should Have in Place:
Checks & Balances:
Set and enforce policies that outline critical procedures like cash handling, closing operations, entry after hours and more.
Properly placed surveillance cameras can monitor high risk areas of your location(s). It is also a layer of protection for you, providing irrefutable evidence of any suspicious activities… even months after the fact.
Let an impartial third party objectively and randomly audit your team’s activities for a realistic picture of your daily operations and compliance.
Exception Based Reporting:
Use an advanced analytical tool to read your transactions and flag for anomalies.
Learn how DTiQ can quickly and easily upgrade your current subscription or get you set up by linking your existing video surveillance and point of sale transactions together to effectively safe-guard, monitor, and prevent or recoup losses to your business.