Detection, Investigation and Resolution

Detection, Investigation and Resolution

Technology has helped detect errors and cases when theft happens, helping businesses solve loss problems quickly. Couple this with active awareness, you can create a level of visibility and a real deterrent against future theft. However, technology alone is not a ‘cover all’ solution.

There are lots of products out there that can help detect theft and loss. However, preventing future loss by providing “visibility” will help uncover issues quickly. Visibility creates awareness that will deter people from committing theft.

Even when all the principles are followed religiously, there will come a time when you realise you cannot prevent all losses. Errors happen, and theft will occur.


Detection is a reactive response that only happens AFTER theft has occurred. But if management establishes a robust set of practices to detect losses quickly, it will help to prevent losses in the future.

For loss prevention programs to be effective, they should contain tasks and programs that are meant to detect the loss. Using technology and human resources together is imperative to allow active investigation (which is our next and final step) and provide efficient resolution.

Failure to detect can destroy the profitability of any business quickly, so make sure to include detection in your loss prevention program. Providing a culture where an active response happens when theft occurs. Having established processes that quickly detect loopholes will reduce future cases of loss.

Remember: Today’s detection brings tomorrow’s prevention.


The investigation is the next part of the wheel. This principle of loss prevention is reactive, just like detection.

Most people think of investigation as interviewing suspects and collecting evidence, etc. That is true, but an investigation into loss prevention is more about OPERATIONAL AUDITING; checking if your employees are adhering to policies and procedures designed to mitigate loss prevention.

In short, an investigation is a systematic inquiry. This is an example:

Problem: External theft and loss of sales occur because of poor customer service.

Solution: Have a mystery shopping program to recognise why poor customer service happens and change the company values.

Like detection, it does not provide a direct solution to prevention. It can, however, create a culture of awareness and promote theft not being welcome in your workplace.


Following the reactive principles of Loss Prevention which are Detection and Investigation, comes the last part. Resolution; an active step, promoting change. Establishing a program catered to resolution will help answer the question: How to prevent future losses?

For theft, a possible resolution can be the identification of the perpetrator, establishment of restitution and recovery. For losses identified alongside with the process of compliance, the resolution can be reviews and alterations of existing processes and procedures, or even creating new policies.

A business’ ability to resolve problems is dependent on their capacity to investigate. Those who are serious in gathering data to establish good investigative practices and solutions will see a decrease in loss.

Many businesses’ undergo the investigative process but stop at the point when they pinpoint the problem. Failing to address the cause and creating a cycle of loss. Only through an established review process can you develop, enhance and modify prevention programs. Helping to detect future opportunities for loss prevention.

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