Police will reportedly visit 1,000 homes this week as they attempt to get on top of illegal streaming of Premier League matches. Arsenal are currently five points clear of Manchester City at the top of the top-flight table.
According to The Mirror, police have identified customers from a database in a major ongoing criminal investigation and will knock on their doors to warn them that they could face prosecution. The clampdown comes after raids by West Mercia Police against a UK-based illegal streaming service offering entertainment and sports through modified boxes, so-called ‘fire sticks’ and subscriptions.
The new purge will target people who watch Premier League games, football matches from across Europe and other sports and movies on the cheap. The operation has seen police join forces with anti-piracy investigators from FACT in Operation Raider. And investigators say there is a clear link between illegal streaming and fraud, scams and organised crime.
The purge is being supported by major corporations such as the Premier League, Sky, BT Sport and Amazon. 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.
Win a pair of tickets to the Premier League or Women’s Super League match of your choosing! Enter below. CLICK HERE
Meanwhile, FACT chief executive Kieron Sharp added: “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.”
Manchester City have won the Premier League four times in the last five years under Pep Guardiola. But the Citizens are in danger of missing out on the title this season, with Arsenal enjoying a fine run of form under Mikel Arteta.