In the last five years, Toronto Police stations have seen more than $16,000 worth of items go missing and have received 46 reported thefts.
The biggest loss the stations faced was the theft of a manila envelope with more than $2,500 in cash for police gym memberships. The envelope was taken from a shared locker.
The stolen items also included equipment used for station operations and community events. Thieves swiped a bulletproof vest, a gas mask, building materials for a new police station and $1,500 in camera equipment the Toronto Police Intelligence Services had purchased.
With the stations’ history of thefts, one station locked up two Xbox game consoles, which the station had purchased for a local event where neighborhood youth could play video games with officers. Somehow, however, a thief allegedly got hold of a key to the basement where the equipment was kept and stole a console and video game worth nearly $260.
Thieves have also targeted miscellaneous personal items left on police properties.
There were no signs of forced entry in any of these thefts, but without an adequate audit trail, there is no way to know if the theft was an inside job.
Toronto Police stations would have benefited from having a process for securing keys and creating an audit trail of all employees who used those keys. For example, if the stations implemented a high-security electronic key control system, they could control access to keys by keeping them physically locked down in a secure panel or electronic drawer.
The system would require authorized users to log in via biometric fingerprint authentication or password, and a report of all system activity would be automatically recorded. In addition, some electronic key control systems include a built-in, motion-activated security camera, which would provide an additional level of insight into system activity.
To ensure managers were always informed of who was accessing the organization’s valuable keys and assets, system reports and alerts could be sent directly to the system administrator(s) via text or email.
For more information on how electronic key control helps with asset management, check out this post.