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U.K. government plans intellectual property crimes department

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As U.K. police become further entrenched in controlling intellectual property theft, the government has announced the creation of a crime unit dedicated to cracking down on IP crime.

The Intellectual Property Crime Unit at the City of London Police will be created through £2.5 million in public funds and is set to launch this September.

Members of the unit will focus on preventing organizations and individuals from profiting from the theft of intellectual property including music, television shows and films.

This year, the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB) began sending out letters to file-sharing websites -- often hosting links to illegal content -- demanding that services shut down or owners will find themselves summoned to court.

Intellectual Property Minister, Lord Younger and City of London Police Commissioner Adrian Leppard said:

"Intellectual property crime has long been a problem in the world of physical goods, but with the growing use of the internet, online intellectual property crime is now an increasing threat to our creative industries. These industries are worth more than £36 billion a year and employ more than 1.5 million people.

Government and our law enforcement agencies must do all they can to protect our creative industries and the integrity of consumer goods."

Leppard believes the unit will safeguard jobs and also ensure citizens "computer safety" by removing risk of exposure to illegal content.

Read More: TorrentFreak

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— By on June 28, 2013, 4:32 AM PST

Charlie Osborne

Contributing Editor

Charlie Osborne is a freelance journalist and photographer based in London. In addition to SmartPlanet, she also writes for business technology website ZDNet and consumer technology site CNET. She holds a degree in medical anthropology from the University of Kent. Follow her on Twitter. Disclosure