A police unit dedicated to combating movie piracy and those responsible for the manufacture and distribution of pirated films has launched in London.
The unit will target the financial gains at the heart of film piracy
In partnership with the Federation Against Copyright Theft (Fact), the new unit will pursue individuals and groups profiting from the sale of fake DVDs.
"This will clearly send a message that this type of crime will not pay," said Det Chief Superintendent Nigel Mawer.
Fact's Ray Leinster called the creation of the unit "a unique development".
By targeting the financial gains at the heart of film piracy, the Metropolitan Police unit hopes to prevent the funding of criminal activities in other areas.
"This will assist Fact's capacity to address and confront the threats from organised networks which are making significant profits from film piracy," said Mr Leinster, director general of Fact.
"The creation of the unit is also proof of the increasing recognition of film piracy as a crime of significance amongst the law enforcement community."
The unit, which will initially operate for a one-year period, will work alongside Fact collating intelligence on crime trends and activities in film piracy.
UK-based Fact represents major British and US film companies, as well as media distributors and companies within the TV industry.
Initially set up in 1983 to deal with videotaped feature films, the organisation increasingly investigates copyright infringement involving DVDs and other digital formats.