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Two men and five women have been arrested in Hackney, East London by Police working in co-operation with FACT, Hackney Council and the Immigration Service.
The raid was part of an ongoing operation to target and disrupt pirate DVD selling in Hackney, and in particular in the car park of Tesco supermarket on Morning Lane, where up to 14 sellers have been observed operating on a daily basis.
Those arrested were all of Chinese origin and over a thousand counterfeit DVDs were seized.
Inspector Richard Munns of Hackney Borough Police, Homerton Safer Neighbourhoods Team said: “Today’s successful raid has been a fantastic collaborative effort for Hackney Borough Police and our partners from FACT and the Council. Illegal vendors, with their links to organised crime, pose a very real menace to the local community, and I’m delighted that the intense planning which went into the raid has resulted in today’s arrests. We will be looking to the courts to place Anti Social Behaviour Orders on the perpetrators, in order to stamp out this activity in Hackney.”
Councillor Alan Laing, the Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods who raised the issue with the different agencies and who was present when the arrests were made said: “I am delighted that the police, FACT and our Trading Standards Officers acted to tackle this ongoing problem in the heart of Hackney. This has been a great example of a number of different agencies coming together to tackle a major source of complaints from the public. I would like to thank the police, Tesco and FACT for their hard work and for committing resources to making Hackney a safer place.”
Kieron Sharp, Director General of the Federation Against Copyright Theft said: “Pirate DVD selling in Hackney has been a persistent problem for some time and we are delighted to be working with Police, Tesco and Hackney Council to stamp out this criminal activity.
The public should be aware that those selling these DVDs are not innocent pawns but are part of organised criminal gangs making millions of pounds a week and that in buying a pirate DVD they are contributing to crime in their local area as well as affecting local jobs in shops and cinemas.”