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Cops seized 20,000 fake DVDs

PUBLISHED: 17:46 23 May 2009 | UPDATED: 13:35 24 August 2010

by Will Davies More than 20,000 fake DVDs have been seized from illegal sellers on the High Road this year, the Times can reveal. Police and council officers said a joint operation has led to a significant drop in the number of street s

by Will Davies

More than 20,000 fake DVDs have been seized from illegal sellers on the High Road this year, the Times can reveal.

Police and council officers said a joint operation has led to a 'significant drop' in the number of street sellers in Kilburn High Road.

According to the Federation Against Copyright Theft (FACT), illegal DVDs, which are often poor quality, also generate around £200 million a year for criminals and are frequently linked to other crimes including benefit fraud, people smuggling and drug dealing.

In a recent survey, more than 80 percent of people believed illegal DVD sales in Kilburn High Road are a problem.

Cllr James King, executive member for community safety at Camden Council, said: "Most Kilburn residents want to see an end to DVD selling on the High Road, so I urge everybody to join together in tackling this problem. Whilst it may seem tempting to buy these cheap DVDs, anyone buying them could be supporting organised crime. Residents should only buy DVDs from reputable shops on the High Road."

Criminal gangs smuggle Chinese immigrants into the UK for huge sums of money, and many end up flooding Kilburn High Road to flog their phoney films.

With traders' profits hit and police resources drained, last week tough proposals, which were backed by police, were announced to tackle the problem.

Chris Philp, Conservative parliamentary candidate for Hampstead and Kilburn, said the illegal traders should be arrested and forced to do a week's community service cleaning up the High Road each time they are caught.

Supt Raj Kohli from Camden police said: "Make no mistake - illegal DVD selling is a crime. At a time when many of us are feeling the credit crunch now, more than ever, we should ensure that we buy from reputable dealers and do our bit to keep shops open."

Posters produced by FACT will soon go up along the High Road with information on affordable alternatives to illegal DVDs.

* If you see anyone selling illegal DVDs call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

w.davies@archant.co.uk


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