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UK to set up new police unit to deal with piracy and counterfeit crime

Intellectual Property Office will offer £2.5m in funding over two years to the City of London Police to setup and operate the new division.

By CBR Staff Writer

The UK Government has revealed plans to establish a new dedicated police division aimed at targeting online piracy and other intellectual property crimes including counterfeit goods.

The UK Intellectual Property Office will offer £2.5m in funding over two years to the City of London Police to setup and operate the new division.

UK Intellectual Property Minister Lord Younger said that the Intellectual property crime has long been a problem in the world of physical goods, but with the growing use of the internet, online intellectual property crime is now an increasing threat to our creative industries.

"These industries are worth more than £36 billion a year and employ more than 1.5 million people," Younger said.

"Government and our law enforcement agencies must do all they can to protect our creative industries and the integrity of consumer goods.

"By working with the City of London Police, who have recognised expertise in tackling economic crime, we are showing how committed this government is to supporting business and delivering economic growth."

Reports reveal that around seven million people per month visit sites offering illegal content in the UK.

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Earlier, London Police had also warned torrent websites, as their practises have been offering access to copyrighted material to facilitate criminal gain.

City of London Police Commissioner Adrian Leppard said that Intellectual property crime is costing the UK economy hundreds of millions of pounds each year, with organised crime gangs causing significant damage to industries that produce legitimate, high quality, physical goods and online and digital content in an increasingly competitive climate.

"The establishment of a new online intellectual property crime unit is evidence of the government and City of London Police’s commitment to confront this threat," Leppard said.

"Together we are creating an operationally independent police unit that will co-ordinate the national and international response from law enforcement and public and private sector partners so we can effectively target those who continue to illegally profiteer on the back of others endeavours.

"In doing so, we will also be safeguarding jobs and protecting people’s personal and computer safety by ensuring they are not exposed to counterfeit goods and unauthorised copyrighted content."

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