A report has emerged claiming that police are to visit 1,000 homes to take action on illegal Premier League streamers and “fire sticks”.
Officers will knock on doors to inform people that they may face criminal prosecution. The latest raid against a huge number of people comes after West Mercia Police set upon a UK-based illegal streaming site offering entertainment and sports via modified boxes and subscriptions.
Those who attempt to view Premier League games, European football and other movies cheaply are subject to the new purge.
Exclusive: Police to visit 1,000 homes this week in crackdown on illegal streaming. “Operation Raider” has got a huge database of names of people who have bought modified boxes or “fire sticks” to watch Prem games, other sports and movies illegally. https://t.co/MdQHLDP8Ob
— John Cross (@johncrossmirror) January 9, 2023
FACT anti-piracy investigators have come together with police in Operation Raider in what is one of the most severe clampdowns on illegal streaming, they will be served notices and ordered to stop immediately.
Paul Faulkner, Stephen Millington and Stephen Millington were each sentenced to 16 months for illegally streaming in 2021.
Investigators believe there is a direct link between illegal streaming and fraud, scams, and organised crime.
This crackdown is supported by major broadcasters like Sky, BT Sport, and Amazon. However, it has been led and directed by FACT (police, which was established to combat piracy in the film and TV industries).
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, 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, adds: “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.”
The Premier League have already issued a warning to fans following those arrests, saying: “They [fans] must be aware this is not only an illegal activity that can lead to custodial sentences but they also risk becoming victims of hacking and fraud.
“We will continue to work with law enforcement to tackle piracy of our content and to educate fans on the dangers of watching Premier League matches via unauthorised streams.”
Fans who want to watch football on TV have to spend a minimum of £18-a-month on Sky Sports, £8.50 on BT Sport and £8.99 for Amazon Prime Video in order to see all the matches.
With reports claiming that police are to visit 1,000 homes to take action on illegal Premier League streamers and “fire sticks”, Twitter users gave their reaction on it all…
@Lewperry007: I don’t think paying for football is expensive. Go to the pub it’ll cost you £40 to watch a match with the boys . Problem with today’s society the kids don’t wanna pay for anything
@AFCmorgan_: Yeah let me go to the pub all day all weekend just to watch football, shut up Perry
@JackWarrrren: “I don’t think watching football is expensive” 😂😂😂 Pubs in 🇬🇧 don’t show every game and if you stay home you need Sky, BT and Amazon (£80-90 ish?) and you still don’t get anywhere near to all the games. But in Canada you pay under £15 and get EVERY game including 3pm ones
‘What you in for mate?’
‘Watched Bournemouth Brentford 3pm kick off’
@Saintsfc_Jamie: Funny really. I pay for Sky, BT and Amazon Prime and can’t watch 3pm kick offs legally. That’s the issue. Corporate greed has stolen a countries sport.
@MarkoMaal: Cheapest way to get games legally: get yourself a vpn and then change your location to a baltic country and then subscribe to viaplay. You lose English commentary but for 10 euros you can stram literally every game and rewatch them for 48hours
@Broomey_88: Well if the @FA would get off their arse and get with the times why are we still not implementing a game pass feature where you can pay to watch any game you like? The fact that someone on the other side of the world can watch a UK match on TV and we can’t is an absolute joke!!
@Mr_Stevo87: Car stolen? Burglary? Mugged on the street? Sorry we are too busy. What’s that? Someone is streaming football? Quick get ’em. Pathetic and you journos should be doing more to highlight the ridiculous prices fans have to pay.
@igorstepanovsn5: Then make every game in the premier league available in the uk man
How about the Prem making EVERY game available at a single decent priced subscription. None of this 3pm curtain bollocks or requiring multiple subs.
iTunes essentially killed music piracy.
Netflix essentially killed movie piracy.
Until then, to the high seas! 🏴☠️
@wegot6bigears: Just don’t let them in, they need a warrant which they won’t have
@st_domingos: I have Sky, BT and Amazon, alongside a Season Ticket for my team. I’m really lucky to be able to afford that and appreciate many can’t. However, I still have to stream ~25% of the games as they simply aren’t shown anywhere within the UK, but are available internationally.
@morninson: 2 in 5 crimes are dropped as police do not have the numbers to deal… “forget about the rapists sarge, Sky aren’t making enough money…”
@AdamChalkley84: Can’t get them to visit for a burglary, but they’ve got time to visit for the crime or watching football. This country is going to the dogs
@BallRaffles: Imagine of all the things police could/should be doing. Its going after people watching Premier league football on the cheap 🙈🙈
@n_a11en: Nothing quite as pathetic as trying to punish people for illegally viewing a British product that every other country in the world has a legal means of viewing.
@P4ul785: The only robbery here is sky, BT sport and Amazon charging the amount they do for very little return. If they offered more for their money people wouldn’t need to look at other options.
@Jon_Chalk1: Quite incredible that police would devote so much time and resources to this when they’re so stretched. Why do they prioritise the property rights of insanely rich organisations like the Premier League? It’s obscene.
@AdamoW1lde: they are just the worst. counterfeit goods or illegal streaming and round instantly. burglary, assault, theft, nowhere to be seen
@iLukasx100: Why is it that the country that invented the beautiful game, has to pay the most for it?? £100 a month in subscriptions and we STILL have a curtain over 3pm games.
@CraigCharles23: Rapists, paedophiles, sexual abusers, thieves, gangs? No Hermano, let’s go for illegal football streaming. I can guarantee a large portion of police officers are the worst culprits for it as well. What a waste of time and resources.
@MiserableMackem: 1000 houses in one week? If they were given a database of paedophiles/rapists/grooming gangs would they plough 1000 front doors through in a week? We’re in a cost of living crisis. People can’t afford £100+ for Sky. Plus Sky might not show your team. Ridiculous.
@AdamskiAfc: i bet the muderers and rapists are pleased the police are after the real criminals
@Dk3Kbball: The lengths cops will go to to threaten people who commit minor offences against capital know no bounds?
But, have your car stolen, your house broken into, be robbed on the tube and it’s “were a bit snowed under at the moment, we don’t have the resources to follow up everything”
🚨 BREAKING: Police to visit 1,000 homes in crackdown on illegal Premier League streaming.
Whilst people are stabbing each other all over the country, arresting someone for streaming Fulham vs Southampton seems to be the priority here.
— Barstool Football (@StoolFootball) January 10, 2023