Watch Out Pirates, UK Chucking £2.5m at New Anti-Piracy Police Squad

By Gary Cutlack on at

The government is backing a new piracy crime division to the tune of £2.5m, with the rather oppressive-sounding Intellectual Property Crime Unit set to become fully operational by September.

The government's Intellectual Property Minister (!) Lord Younger and the City of London Police Commissioner Adrian Leppard announced the formation of the piracy-fighting team today, with Leppard claiming: "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 Intellectual Property Office is giving £2.5m to the City of London Police to set up and run the unit for two years, after which the country will be cleansed of all piracy. Or perhaps not. At the very least, £2.5m should pay for a lot of threatening letters to be sent out.

In announcing the move, the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills says some seven million people in the UK visit sites offering illegal downloads every month and that the crackdown ought to protect jobs, particularly in the creative fields that are hardest hit by copyright theft. [DBIS via TorrentFreak]