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Security in Commerce and Industry: Controlling Losses for Profit.

Security in Commerce and Industry: Controlling Losses for Profit

This 350-plus-page, reader-friendly text is filled with remedies and techniques that, when properly implemented, can reduce and control losses, thus improving an organization's profitability. The book was published in England and the writer speaks from a British perspective.

The text contains 25 chapters grouped into five areas. Although the areas Coster chose to include in this book are presented in a clear, logical fashion and are covered in depth, I must mention several concerns.

First, all dollar values are represented in pounds, the United Kingdom's monetary unit. Although the author converts meters to feet in most situations, he neglects to convert pounds to dollars.

A second concern is the author's continuous comparison of the United States to the United Kingdom. This is illustrated in the chapter on selecting personnel, where the use of written honesty tests in the United States and United Kingdom is compared. In the chapter on arrest and legal requirements, Coster draws another comparison: "In the UK, a citizen's power of arrest is outlined in the Police and Criminal Evidence Act, 1984," and "In the USA, power of arrest is also available to citizens when criminal offences occur in their presence. Such powers are specified by statute. . . ."

In the chapter on fire prevention and control, Coster states, "One recent set of annual statistics in the UK alone reveals the reasons for such concern:

* 550 million [pounds] lost

* 1,000 deaths

* 5,000 maimed and injured

* 47 percent of industries suffered losses" The author fails to provide comparable annual statistics on fire losses in the United States.

My last and most critical concern is with the chapter on methods of detection, where the author recommends setting traps for employees and outside personnel to verify their honesty. Coster states, "Setting traps to catch criminals is a dangerous detection method to use if the person controlling the operation is not familiar with the pitfalls." However, this is a method of detection that security professionals in the United States should not even consider based on our highly litigious society.

With the exception of these concerns, the book is well-written, the subject matter is comprehensive, and this text should be a welcome addition to every security professional's reference library. If the United Kingdom is your cup of tea, go for it!

Anthony F. Coster
COPYRIGHT 1989 American Society for Industrial Security
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1989 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
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Author:Law, John K.
Publication:Security Management
Article Type:Book Review
Date:Nov 1, 1989
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