Sky welcome police action to tackle illegal streaming of sport and entertainment in the North East

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Police have made an arrest as part of an effort to tackle the illegal streaming of premium Sky content in the North East.

Officers from the North East Regional Organised Crime Unit (NEROCU) executed a warrant in Stockton-on-Tees that is believed to be involved in an illegal streaming operation involving fraud and money laundering.

The specialist police operation resulted in a 52-year-old man being arrested under suspicion of supplying articles for use in fraud and money laundering. He has since been released under investigation while enquiries continue.

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Officers at the scene today (Wednesday) also seized a large quantity of clothing believed to be counterfeit.

Police seized suspected counterfeit goods at an address in the North East.Police seized suspected counterfeit goods at an address in the North East.
Police seized suspected counterfeit goods at an address in the North East.

Detective Sergeant James Woodcock, who works in NEROCU’s Proactive Economic Crime Team (PECT), said: “This action demonstrates the full extent of our resources and the intelligence at our disposal to take action against those breaking the law.

“While most people think paying for illegal streaming devices and services is a victimless crime – this couldn’t be further from the truth.

“Illegal streaming services that supply entertainment and sports content via modified boxes, firesticks, and subscriptions, help fund wider organised crime such as human trafficking, child sexual exploitation, drug supply and other sinister crimes.”

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He added: “We’re also warning users of the many other risks associated with illegal streaming, including fraud, scams, exposure to inappropriate content, viruses, and malware.

“Under the banner of Operation Sentinel we will continue to disrupt and tackle serious and organised crime here in the North East.”

Matt Hibbert, director of Anti-Piracy, UK and ROI, at Sky said: “We’d like to thank the North East Regional Organised Crime Unit for taking robust action to tackle illegal streaming, bring those responsible to justice, and help keep consumers safe from risks of accessing illegal content.”

To find out more about the dangers of illegal streaming and to find out where to watch content legally, please visit the FACT website. FACT is the UK’s leading intellectual property protection organisation protecting brands and businesses against fraud.

If you want to report concerns you can do so via the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously by calling 0800 555 111.