POLICE are set to clampdown on 1000 individuals suspected of watching Premier League games illegally on modified boxes.
The action follows the targeting of a UK-based illegal streaming service offering entertainment and sports via modified boxes, known as ‘fire sticks.’
Over 1,000 individuals have been identified following raids by West Mercia Police against the UK-based illegal streaming service that was supplying entertainment and sports content on modified boxes referred to as ‘fire sticks.’
Police are now set to knock on doors , working alongside anti-piracy organisation FACT. The Government Agency Intelligence Network (GAIN) is also playing a role in the action.
Last November Merseyside man Peter Dilworth , 36, who operated a service offering illegal access to sports and entertainment content, received an 8-month prison sentence, suspended for 18 months.
Dilworth appeared in Liverpool Crown Court on November 1, after pleaded guilty to the charges brought against him by the Crown Prosecution Service.
In 2021 Paul Faulkner and Stephen Millington
were sentenced to a total of 16 months in prison for watching unauthorised streams.
West Mercia Police (Specialist Operations – Cyber Crime) Detective Inspector Matt McNellis said: “West Mercia Police worked in partnership with FACT and other agencies during Operation Raider in order to prevent criminal activity and raise public awareness around illegal streaming services.
“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.”
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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.”
Government Agency Intelligence Network (GAIN) National Coordinator, Jason Grove, said: “This operation has involved months of collaborative hard work and the warning notices issued are an excellent example of adopting a multi-agency approach between FACT and the Police.
“By working in partnership, sharing intelligence lawfully and efficiently, the network aims to ensure that government agencies and law enforcement will help reduce the risk, threat and harm from serious and organised crime”.