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I used to work for a security company. The company would bill client stores on a contract basis based on the hours we worked. We were 'experts' when it came to arresting shoplifters. The problem is that there were not enough shoplifters to justify our existence at these stores!!! The owners-managers of our company forces us to embellish our incident reports to create the illusion of a 'problem'. Security officers that do not comply are dealt with harshly. The company has profited enourmously from the lies presented in these incident reports. The only theft going on at most of our client stores stems directly from the security company's fraudulent reporting. What can be done about this??? This is only the tip of the iceberg, the level of corruption is astonishing. I hope other private sector security companies are not structured the same way...
Former Security Guard
Dear Former Security Guard,
What you have described is fraud, which is a criminal offence. The police are the appropriate authority to deal with this behaviour and I would suggest that you take your concerns to them.
Although your experience was extreme, I suspect that there are many employees of service firms who feel pressured by their employers to defraud clients by creating a sense that there is a greater need for their services than actually exists. I know one fellow who worked for a consulting firm who was told how many inches thick his reports should be, regardless of the content.
I wonder if other readers face dilemmas, perhaps less extreme than that of this former security guard, in which they feel compelled by their employer to act against the interests of their clients and against their own conscience.
Thanks for writing.
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