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PIPCU funding confirmed until 2017 - Commander Head “This is fantastic news for the City of London Police”

The fight against intellectual property crime was today given a major boost when the Government announced they would continue to fund the Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPCU) for another two years until 2017.

Minister for Intellectual Property, Baroness Neville-Rolfe, confirmed the £3 million allocation to the City of London Police’s national crime unit at the Anti-Counterfeiting Group Conference in London.

City of London Police Commander Steve Head, who is the Police National Coordinator for Economic Crime, said:

“The Government committing to fund the Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit until 2017 is fantastic news for the City of London Police and the creative industries and very bad news for those that seek to make capital through intellectual property crime.

“Since launching a year ago PIPCU has quickly established itself as an integral part of the national response to a problem that is costing the UK more than a billion pounds a year. Much of this success is down to PIPCU moving away from traditional policing methods and embracing new and innovative tactics, to disrupt and dismantle criminal networks responsible for causing huge damages to legitimate businesses.

“PIPCU has benefitted immensely from forging a close alliance with the IPO; forming partnerships with national and international law enforcement bodies, the creative industries and the public and private sector. This puts the unit and the City of London Police as a whole in a strong position to make an even bigger impact and greater inroads into intellectual property crime over the next couple of years.”

Baroness Neville-Rolfe said:

“We’ve seen significant success in PIPCU’s first year of operation. This extra support for the unit will help them to build on this impressive record in the fight against intellectual property crime, which costs the UK at least £ 1.3 billion a year in lost profits and taxes.

“With more money now being invested in ideas than factories or machinery in the UK, it is vital that we protect creators and consumers and the UK’s economic growth. Government and industry must work together to give long-term support to PIPCU, so that we can strengthen the UK’s response to the blight of piracy and counterfeiters.”

PIPCU was set-up in September 2013 and is now a 21-person team consisting of detectives, police staff investigators, analysts, researchers, an education officer and a communications officer. The unit also has the added skills and expertise from two secondees; a Senior Intelligence Officer from the UK IPO and an Internet Investigator from the British Recorded Music Industry (BPI).

The IP Crime Group report 2013/2014, launched on 10 October 2014, provides information about PIPCU’s recent successes and operational activities.