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Year end is a stressful time. Companies want to finish off the last bit of work for the year and also keep employees productive the close of office. Most people want to go on holiday to unwind and relax. Theft often rises near year end as people become more relaxed.
Why do employees steal at year end?
- Companies might not have enough capital to give employees bonuses at year end, some employees might feel that they have been slighted and decide to just take what they feel they are owed;
- Some employees might feel that the company (true or not) have not been fair to them during the year (whether they get bonuses or not) and that they deserve more;
- Some steal so they can have extra money/goods for the holiday season or so they can afford presents for their families;
- Some steal because they have been doing it for so long, but because it is the holidays, they think it will be easier because everyone is burned out and/or distracted and thus won’t notice even if they steal more than usual (in other words more greed);
- Employees have been retrenched with very little notice and at a very unfortunate time of year. They might worry about feeding their families and about the uncertainties they face without an income, especially since they don’t know when they will have a stable income again;
Why does theft occur more at year end outside of work?
- Thieves know that most people are away for the holidays and thus homes will be empty which make them easier targets, especially if the security systems are very basic;
- Thieves scout ahead and know which places to target and when it would be safe to break in because they see there is no activity for a while;
- They hope you don’t have and quick response alarm company and that you are too busy enjoying your holiday to check your phone about your home;
- They know which residential areas have easy to rob goods with lower security measures as well as the residential areas that are very quiet thus, they are less likely to be spotted;
- People steal from stores because they either do not want to pay for the item or they feel it is over-priced, but they still need/want the item. They have no care for the damages they cause.
- People feel like because it is supposed to be a joyous time of year no one will notice or care. They hope and sometimes know people will take pity on them and they can get away with their crimes.
Other factors that could contribute:
- Some people are just greedy without a care for others or their belongings, it is the terrible mindset of “You have nice things and are rich, I am not rich so I can take it. You can just buy more” no matter how hard you had to work to afford those things;
- People let their guard down during holiday times because they are trying to relax so it is easier to miss items or be unaware of their absence until the new year;
- It is a time of year people tend to get silly, some take it too far and lose their judgement of what is right and wrong;
- Young people (or even adults) might feel peer pressure because they don’t have the same cool gadgets/ clothing etc as their friends. Unable to afford the items they turn to shoplifting to be “in with the cool kids”;
Do take note that not everyone you see is a thief, there are still a lot of good people. Unfortunately, a few bad people ruin good things for the many and everyone looks bad in the end. If you do see someone stealing, don’t just keep quiet, speak out.
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