An increase in employee-related fraud has prompted a warning from Hawke's Bay police for businesses to keep close watch on their accounting practices.
Police say there has been a steady flow of fraud complaints from businesses where trusted employees have been stealing cash or goods from their employers.
Head of Hawke's Bay CIB, Detective Senior Sergeant Dave de Lange, said the fraud offences had a significant negative impact on the employer, company or organisation involved.
"In many cases the dishonest activity is to fund a lifestyle that is basically beyond the offender's means or to support a gambling habit, activities that should be warning flags for employers," he said. "There are obvious signs for employers that may indicate something is amiss with staff, especially if they are on low wages. Things like expensive holidays, new cars or houses or personal items may point to employee fraud."
The onus was on business owners to keep a close eye on their business accounting practices and to make sure they employed trustworthy staff.