The Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPCU) is a department of the City of London Police, the national lead force for fraud. It was established in 2013 with the responsibility to investigate and deter serious and organised intellectual property crime in the United Kingdom.


It is based in City of London Police’s headquarters at Guildhall Yard East. The unit comprises of a team of 19 police officers and staff, including detectives and police staff investigators.


Part of PIPCU’s remit is to protect consumers from harm, focusing on intellectual property crime that has public safety implications. Since its inception, it has investigated intellectual property crime worth more than £100 million concerning counterfeit goods or digital piracy, and suspended more than 30,000 websites selling counterfeit goods. These websites have also been linked to identity theft.

Make a referral

PIPCU deals with all kinds of IP crime but this does not generally include cases where a third party has ‘spoofed’ a website or used your company name to run a website to commit fraud. These are matters which should be reported directly to Action Fraud.

If the matter relates to a copied website in your company name then go to the Action Fraud website and click on the “I am a witness” tab in order to make an information report. Follow the links and consider the “I can’t find a relevant option” if your report does not fit into any category.

If you have lost money directly to fraudsters, or a third party has lost money, then please report directly as a victim through the Action Fraud main page.

Alternatively as a business, you can use the ‘Business reporting tool’ section of Action Fraud online.

In consultation with a number of representatives from the private sector, a case referral form has been designed to enable businesses to submit allegations quickly and with minimum bureaucracy.

To help you complete your referral we have created a set of guidelines. Please read the PIPCU Referral Guide before completing a referral form.

Complete a referral online