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10th Jan 2023

UK Police to visit 1,000 homes in a bid to crack down on illegal streaming

Callum Boyle

Police have identified several customers.

Police in the UK will visit 1,000 homes this week as part of a bid to crackdown on illegal streaming of Premier League games.

Customers have been identified from a huge database as part of a major criminal investigation and will visit homes to warn people that they may face prosecution.

The latest clampdown comes after West Mercia Police conducted raids against a UK-based illegal streaming service offering entertainment and sports via modified boxes, ‘fire-sticks’ and subscriptions.

Raids have been going ahead to prevent people from watching Premier League games as well as football, other sports and movies from around Europe for a cut price.

Authorities have also partnered alongside anti-piracy investigators from FACT in a project known as ‘Operation Raider’.

Investigators also believe that there is a direct correlation between illegal streaming services and fraud, scams and organised crime.

illegal streaming

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.”

Those who receive knocks on the door will likely be served with notices and told to stop illegally streaming with immediate effect, as well as warned of the consequences if they continue to do so.

Two individuals, Paul Faulkner and Stephen Millington, were sentenced to a total of 16 months for watching illegal streams in 2021.

Major organisations and broadcasters such as the Premier League, Sky Sports, BT Sport and Amazon Prime have all supported the operation.

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