Portsmouth man arrested as police probe pirate DVD claims

RAID Sergeant Rob Sutton removing evidence from yesterday's raid.
RAID Sergeant Rob Sutton removing evidence from yesterday's raid.
Officers outside a propety in Meon Road, Southsea

Police and forensics team called to house in Southsea

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POLICE have arrested a man on suspicion of running a pirate CD and DVD racket from his Portsmouth home.

Officers raided the three bedroom house in Hillsley Road, Paulsgrove, shortly after 9am yesterday.

RAID The suspect is led away by police

RAID The suspect is led away by police

They seized laptops and more than 100 CDs and DVDs from the house and arrested 40-year-old Karl Townshend.

It is alleged pirate material was sold online via a website, offering deliveries across Portsmouth, Lee-on-the-Solent, Leigh Park, Waterlooville and Gosport.

Police say the website also offered a service modifying Xbox 360 consoles to enable them to play pirate copies of games.

Townshend was taken to Portsmouth Central Police Station where he was yesterday questioned on suspicion of manufacturing and supplying counterfeit CDs and DVDs under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988.

He was later released on police bail.

Police were last night working on getting the website shut down as part of their investigation.

The raid was carried out after police received information from the Crimestoppers charity.

Sergeant Rob Sutton, from Portsmouth’s City Centre Unit, which carried out the raid alongside the Federation Against Copyright Theft and Association for Interactive Entertainments, said: ‘We have acted on information received from Crimestoppers and Federation Against Copyright Theft.

‘An arrest has been made, computer equipment and a large quantity of suspected pirate DVDs and gaming software have been recovered and we are in the process of closing down a website.

‘The property we have seized needs to be forensically examined.

‘The victims [in these types of crime] are all of the people who are involved in the film making industry.

‘They spend a lot of money producing these films and they need money to pay for that.’

Andy Payne, chairman for the UK Association for Interactive Entertainment (UKIE), added: ‘UKIE’s Intellectual Property Crime Unit works tirelessly to combat the illegal trading of games and interactive entertainment.

‘The raid on a property in Portsmouth shows the commitment that the games and interactive entertainment industry has to stamping out intellectual property theft, which is a hugely damaging crime both to the individuals whose creativity is stolen and to the businesses that make up Britain’s video games and interactive entertainment industry.’