Criminal Investigations within an organisation tend to be on the far side of the spectrum when it comes to a crisis, but their importance to your resilience planning is equal to anything else you should consider. In New Zealand alone, there have been 267,465 victimisations in 2017.
Criminal Investigations cover many events such as staff thefts (which can be widespread in retail or warehouse environments), fraud including false accounting or misappropriation, sexual assaults, unauthorised use of IT systems and access to computer systems.
Knowing when it’s necessary to initiate the steps in investigating a criminal act is important to effectively maintain the correct procedures. This April, RiskLogic has partnered with Veritas Investigators to help bring this delicate subject to the surface while in turn, promoting a more open discussion around it.
Veritas Investigations recently undertook an advisory role where a company’s employee had been charged with kidnapping. The company was initially making blind decisions without realising wider implications of both the police investigation and their responsibilities as an employer. Veritas Investigations were able to provide advice regarding the police investigation in order to mitigate any adverse media coverage. In addition, they assisted the company with locating and interpreting data which helped inform them about future hires.
When an event as serious as this occurs to an organisation, there should be strict predetermined processes set in place to ensure legal and compliant steps are taken. Events that are serious enough to seek external Investigators are ones that require planning and practice prior.
When reviewing or running your Business Impact Analysis (BIA), there are certain questions to consider:
- What are the considerations of key factors that will influence major decisions?
- If a complaint like fraud is made, are you confident that police will investigate in a timely manner? What is your process if not?
- What may happen between business, client/customer and Key Stakeholder relationships should something occur?
Often when an internal investigation is initiated, it’s hard to keep it confidential. Employees, third parties and in some cases media, can become aware of the decision to seek police or private investigators. This only brings with it more concerns and reputational risk. Your sensitivity of investigation and potential risks need to be evaluated well before any plans are set into motion. Think; does my organisation hold a level of risk we can not afford to be tampered with internally or within the media?
Sometimes, however, investigations don’t involve the police. This is usually down to the discretion of the organisation in question, but it can be handled in other ways. For example, a whistleblower alerting a company to thefts committed by a trusted employee who is related to the business owners
Whether police are involved at an early stage or not, many companies will engage the services of a Private Investigator to oversee and manage the process from the company’s perspective. This is especially effective when the process and contact of your chosen investigators is well documented and aligned to your Business Continuity Plan (BCP).
More than ever, companies are seeking more continuity in their business plan and looking for more ways to reinstate or retain the confidence of their shareholders, clients, customers, and Key Stakeholders. With the help of contracting reliable and experienced Private Investigators, this can add to your resilience and credibility.