Police will visit 1,000 homes this week as part of a crackdown on illegal TV streaming. Customers to be targeted have been identified from a huge database in a major ongoing criminal investigation, reports The Mirror .
Officers will knock on doors this week and homeowners could face prosecution. The crackdown comes after raids against a UK-based illegal streaming service offering entertainment and sports via modified boxes. The new purge is against people who try to watch Premier League games, football from all over Europe and other sports and movies on the cheap.
Police have joined forces with anti-piracy investigators from FACT in “Operation Raider” and the knock on the door is likely to come as a huge shock. They will potentially be served with notices, be ordered to stop immediately and be warned of serious consequences.
Paul Faulkner and Stephen Millington, were sentenced to a total of 16 months for watching illegal streams in 2021. Investigators say there is a clear link between illegal streaming services and fraud, scams and organised crime. The crackdown comes with the support of major organisations like the Premier League and broadcasters such as Sky, BT Sport and Amazon, but it has been led by the police and FACT, which was set up to stop piracy in the TV and film industry.
Detective Inspector Matt McNellis 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.”