To better appreciate the role of protection officers in internal loss control, the acronym
INTERNAL has been developed:
I—Inspect the facility for procedural violations, degradations in the physical security system,
and unusual, unexplained conditions.
N—Note all findings of the inspection process. “When in doubt, document.”
T—Theft. Understand the elements of theft. These are unique to each state or province.
They are also specific to certain types of theft such as embezzlement, theft by deception, or
receiving stolen property. In general, elements of theft or larceny are:
1. An unlawful taking
2. Transportation or the carrying away of the property
3. The taker is not the rightful owner or possessor
4. Intent to permanently deprive the owner of the full value of the property
In addition to theft or larceny, the officer must know statutes relating to assault, harass-
ment, computer abuse, vandalism, etc. These are specific to the types of internal loss events
that can be reasonably expected to occur in a work environment.
E—Environment. Becoming intimately familiar with one’s patrol environment aids
immeasurably in determining when something detrimental is occurring.
R—Report all discrepancies and violations of rules. Report both in writing and verbally.
Documentation can include notes, logs, daily activity reports, and incident reports.
Reinforce the message with a verbal report to the appropriate person(s).
N—Neutrality. Being a detached, neutral, and objective observer is essential to
professional handling of workplace deviance. Personal prejudices or preconceived notions
have no place in protection or investigative work. “Just the facts.” Let the facts speak for
A—Audit the physical security system such as locking procedures, access to areas, intrusion
detection capabilities, safe, vault, and locking file cabinet procedures. Check for information
carelessly left unattended on desks, computer screens, or other places. Audit that procedures
for receiving shipments are being followed.
L—Loss can be direct, indirect, or extra expense. Effective asset protection professionals
have both an understanding of loss potential and an appreciation of how it impacts the
organization they are protecting.
Internal discipline must be implemented in each and every case of employee theft, abuse, or
dissemination of protected information. Clear policies must be developed and disseminated
for this to be effective. Also, management must conduct a thorough investigation before
enacting disciplinary measures.
Other resolution actions may include:
Contractual agreements signed by employees, which set up a schedule of repayment.
This is common in retailing where a premium is placed on interrogation ability: getting the
employee to first admit the thefts and the amount stolen is paramount. Next, a repayment
plan is developed and signed by the suspect.
Civil recovery—as is most commonly used in shoplifting cases—is available in some
states. The employer sends a civil demand letter to the thief who will either pay or face a suit
or have a lien placed on his/her property. These letters do not produce results all of the time,
but Read Hayes noted retail security expert found that about 40% of the time payment is
obtained after the first letter is sent (Zalud, 1988). It may well be that civil recovery will
spread for computer-aided thefts and sabotage as corporations are in a much better position
to investigate these events than public sector investigators.
Resolution 323

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