Watch films, TV and sports online? UK police may visit you this month


If you ever stream TV, sports or movies illegally online you might be about to get a visit from the police. Around 1,000 UK residents are set to be targeted in this latest piracy crackdown which will see officers issuing warnings to those thought to be breaking the law.

Anyone getting a knock on the door will be urged to cease illegal streaming activities with immediate effect or face criminal prosecution. They will also face a lesson in why watching content online can put them at risk of cyber attacks, fraud and exposing younger members of the household to content that could be highly inappropriate for their age.  Recent research, which analysed 50 popular illegal streaming sites, found that all contained malicious content, while over 40 percent of them did not have a security certificate which means they probably aren’t safe to visit.

The police are keen to point out that this won’t be some idol threat with two UK residents already sentenced to a total of 16 months in prison for watching unauthorised streams.

With the cost of living crisis hitting budgets, it’s thought that more homes than ever are trying to find free ways of watching premium content but opting for this tempting way of tuning into TV clearly comes with serious risks.

This new crackdown has been started after over 1,000 individuals were identified following raids by West Mercia Police against a UK-based illegal streaming service that was supplying entertainment and sports content via modified boxes, firesticks, and subscriptions.

Speaking about the latest news, FACT Chief Executive, Kieron Sharp, said: “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”.

And West Mercia Police (Specialist Operations – Cyber Crime) Detective Inspector, Matt McNellis added: “West Mercia Police worked in partnership with FACT and other agencies during Operation Raider 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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