News Archive

Fraud Threat

by msecadm4921

As never before there is a threat to global business: from corruption, fraud and terrorism, writes Ken Rogers.

Five years ago it was estimated over $1.5 trillion was laundered every year by organised criminal syndicates. This awesome scale of global money laundering and its filtration into the worlds legitimate business has increased annually, the exact amount is unknown. Fraud is a growing threat assisted by new technologies. An interesting report by KPMG Forensics in July refers to ‘£600m of fraud comes to court in first six months of 2007 alone’. This is excellent news; however it clearly demonstrates the scale of fraud and poses the question, ‘what is the true cost of fraud to the UK and the global economy’? As Hitesh Patel of KPMG states, it is good news that more fraud is being detected and prosecuted in courts. Of concern is that fraud is a persistent major problem for companies, of no surprise is the array of examples of managers and employees of companies defrauding their companies over many years as I discovered as a security manager in various industries. Patel argues: “It is possible the very high level of personal debt is driving fraudulent behaviour by individuals increasing the risk of company’s employee and management fraud.”

Security managers should take note of changes of lifestyle, such as new cars; where did the money come from. Although employed by a Danish organisation I was asked by the directors to spend time with another food company as their profits were down considerably – this pointed to the possibility of a senior member of staff being involved. I made enquiries with occupants of residents overlooking the factory complex and discovered closing down as normal then the factory opening again late evening. A senior member of staff with others was stealing products in large numbers and removing same from the premises. He had informed others of a rich auntie who had left him a substantial sum! Better to be criticised for too anxious apprehensions than ruined by too confident security.

The country is on a knife-edge, writes Ken Rogers.

The BBC 1 programme on knife crime ‘Panorama’ on August 13 clearly demonstrated the increasing knife crime as part of a ‘youth knife gang culture’ and the use of other weapons such as the ‘bottle’.  The programme argued that many parents were unaware of their children – children as young as seven – carrying knives. It is not only members of ‘gangs’ who carry knives but other youth who fear for their lives and carry such weapons to protect themselves. My own recent research reveals ‘knife crime’ is escalating with many assaults and injuries resulting in hospital treatment not being reported to police. This clearly displays that government crime figures for violent crime to be totally inaccurate. The financial cost to society, NHS, policing and the family and to local business of this form of street crime must also be increasing but such costs are rarely mentioned.

Research provides no surprises that available data indicates knife crimes are typically concentrated around young urban males many of whom are black from socially deprived areas and backgrounds. Knives are also increasingly used in street robberies not only for the mobile phone but in the use of attacking security guards and others. It is time Government provided legislation to protect the young and others against this increasing menace. After all why is it that head teachers and their staff felt they cannot exclude pupils in possession of knives in their schools? I also ask how many offenders in possession of knives are cautioned by police? Does such action provide a deterrent?

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