People who stream football games illegally are being targeted in a new police campaign.
Officers are pledging to visit 1,000 homes this week as part of a crackdown, warning that perpetrators identified through a major database could face prosecution.
Investigators are focusing on an illegal streaming service in the UK operated using devices called “fire sticks” which are used to watch sport, films and TV, and police have already begun carrying out raids.
FACT, an organisation which works in anti-piracy investigations, is also helping with the initiative which is being dubbed “Operation Raider” .
Guilty streamers could be ordered to stop using the devices straight away, as well as being served notices.
The mission is being supported by the Premier League itself, as well as broadcasters Sky, BT Sport and Amazon, making it one of the biggest bids to tackle illegal streaming in recent years.
Illegal streamers could face a knock at the door this week iStock
Detective Inspector Matt McNellis, of West Mercia’s Cyber Crime Specialist Operation, said: “We are able to deploy cutting-edge digital tactics to identify and detect people who break the law before carrying out enforcement activity in concert with our partners.
“Often, illegal streaming is used to fund Serious Organised Crime and West Mercia Cybercrime Unit is committed to interdicting this source of criminal revenue and reducing the harm organised crime groups can do to our communities.”
Detective Chief Inspector Gary Robinson, of the Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit, said: “Accessing films, TV series and live sports events from unauthorised sources is illegal, can expose consumers to risks such as data theft and malware, and can help fund organised criminal groups.”
FACT Chief Executive, Kieron Sharp, added: “We would like to thank the Government Agency Intelligence Network (GAIN), the Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPCU), West Mercia Police, and other police forces across the country, for their support to help ensure that the public are made aware of the dangers of using illegal streaming services and, more importantly, that they understand that there is the risk of criminal prosecution.”
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