Police to ‘visit 1,000 homes’ in massive crackdown on illegal Prem streaming

A crackdown on illegal Premier League streaming will see Police visit 1,000 homes during a major ongoing criminal investigation alongside anti-piracy investigators.

Officers have identified customers of a UK-based illegal streaming service that offers sport and entertainment with modified boxes as well as fire-sticks and subscriptions.

This latest clampdown against 1,000 individuals comes after raids by West Mercia Police against fans who have been trying to watch top-flight football as well as films on the cheap.

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Anti-piracy investigators from FACT have joined forced with the police during 'Operation Raider' and will be knocking at doors without warning.

Those visited could be handed with notices, be ordered to stop watching and warned of more serious consequences over the illegal viewing practise.

Back in 2021, Paul Faulkner and Stephen Millington were sentenced to a total of 16 months for illegal streaming, with investigators saying there is a link between illegal streaming services and organised crime.

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The crackdown has the support of Premier League broadcasters including Sky Sports, BT, and Amazon – having been led by FACT and the police to stop piracy in TV and film.

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, has 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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