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Illegal live streamers watching Premier League to be visited by police


West Mercia Police will be carrying out a crackdown this week on football fans using Amazon fire sticks and other devices to stream live football

It has been revealed that this week officers from West Mercia Police in the UK are set to pay a visit to more than 1,000 addresses in the country to warn users about using illegal live streaming services.

It is understood that the police have been able to identify the customers of one of many such illegal streaming services, and they plan to go door-to-door warning such users that they could face prosecution if they continue to use such means to watch live sport including Premier League football.

Many of these illegal sports streaming services operate using social media platforms like Telegram to attract and serve customers, while redirecting followers on those platforms to bespoke apps on devices like Amazon fire sticks to access their streams.

These apps often allow the user to access hundreds of live channels from around the world, including huge sporting events, at a fraction of the cost needed to pay for legitimate providers like Sky Sports and BT Sport.

Those in charge of these services of course don't own the rights to the content on these channels and as such are guilty of copyright infringement, as are their users and followers.

Therefore, as well as targetting the criminal groups in charge of such services, who the police often associate with other organised and even violent crime, West Mercia Police will now begin cracking down on regular users of these services. This process will start this week with the issuing of face-to-face warnings on doorsteps.

These visits come in the wake of the police's latest raids against illegal live streaming service owners and operators themselves.

To conduct this operation, the police have teamed up with anti-piracy investigators FACT to create "Operation Raider", which will see them knock on the doors of suspected users of such illegal streaming services and hand out notices and warnings.

It is believed that users will be told to stop using such illegal services immediately or face serious legal consequences.

This latest action against users and distributors is heavily supported by major football leagues like the Premier League and key broadcasters like Sky, BT and Amazon.

Detective Chief Inspector Gary Robinson, from the Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit, has 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.”

Detective Inspector Matt McNellis, from the Cyber Crime Specialist Operation at West Mercia Police, added:

"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 the 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.”

Meanwhile, Kieron Sharp, Chief Executive at FACT 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.”

British police continue to carry out investigations and operations to clamp down on the illegal live streaming of football and other sports inside the country.

However, the popularity of such practices does not seem to be waning, which is understandable given the cost of living crisis many people are living through at the present time.

A large amount of devoted football fans up and down the UK simply cannot afford subscriptions to the legitimate broadcasters who hold the rights to competitions like the Premier League and the UEFA Champions League.

Despite the financial difficulties faced by many football fans, broadcasters continue to raise their prices, and more and more people continue to turn to illegal football live streams to follow such content.

Nonetheless, these users will need to be wary of the increasing threat of prosecution and legal action when choosing to break the law by accessing such prohibited content.

If you're looking for legal and legitimate football live streams, look no further than Sporticos - we provide high quality, low cost and LEGAL football live streams of competitions such as La Liga, the Bundesliga and Ligue 1. Head to our football live streams page to check it out!

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