This case study follows a client who owns a chain of Pizza take-away shops and two fish and chips shops in various suburbs of Birmingham. The client had concerns about a reduction in cash flow despite consistent stock levels, indicating the possibility of staff theft. The following steps were taken to investigate the issue.

Exploring the Business:

The investigator visited the shops and met with the staff to understand the sales and stock processes. It was found that the business relied on trust, as the client had previously employed family members but replaced them with managers and part-time workers.

Polygraph Investigation:

It was decided to start the investigation by examining the managers first. Six managers attended the polygraph offices over three days. One manager failed to attend and gave his notice by phone to the owner. Out of the remaining five, the managers of the shops in Moseley, Solihull, Bournville, and Harbourne passed the polygraph examinations, while the two who managed the shops in Chelmsley Wood, Stechford, Acocks Green, and Birmingham city centre both failed.

Results and Actions:

The client was present during the examinations and was informed of the results immediately. Upon hearing that two of his managers had failed the polygraph, he spoke to them in person. Both managers kept their jobs, and the investigator will be invited back annually to conduct monitoring tests on their honesty.


This case study highlights the importance of pre-employment testing and regular monitoring to maintain the security and profitability of businesses. It also shows the effectiveness of polygraph investigations in identifying potential theft among employees.

The client was pleased to have identified the two managers who had been stealing from his business and was grateful for our services. He expressed his gratitude by leaving a positive review on our website and recommended our services to other business owners in Birmingham.

Lessons learned and steps taken

The client learned an important lesson about the importance of monitoring and verifying the honesty of employees. He recognized that his business was essentially run on trust and that trust can sometimes be misplaced. As a result, he decided to implement several new policies and procedures to prevent future theft, including:

Conducting regular polygraph tests: The client decided to conduct annual polygraph tests on all his managers and part-time workers. He recognized the importance of regular monitoring to maintain the security and profitability of his business.

Implementing stricter financial controls: The client implemented stricter financial controls to prevent future thefts, such as requiring all cash transactions to be recorded on the tills, and requiring all staff to sign a declaration of honesty.

Hiring more family members: The client realized that family members were more likely to be trustworthy and honest than non-family members. He decided to hire more family members to work in his business to reduce the risk of theft.