The UK will soon have a new police unit dedicated to tackling online piracy and the sale of counterfeit goods, the government announced on Friday.

The unit will be partially funded by the Intellectual Property Office (IPO) which will give £2.5 million to the City of London Police over the course of two years to get the unit up and running, although an announcement from the UK’s Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) said it should be operational by September.

“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,” Minister for Intellectual Property, Lord Younger, said.

Lord Younger added that these industries are worth more than £36bn per year and employ more than 1.5 million people alone.

The creation of the unit (which actually follows through on a pledge made by Business Secretary Vince Cable in December) comes shortly after the City of London Police began sending out letters to torrent website owners that provide access copyrighted content for “criminal gain”, according to TorrentFreak.

The UK’s major ISPs now largely block access to torrent websites like The Pirate Bay and KAT.ph (Kick Ass Torrents) as a result of court orders. Earlier this month Sky Broadband also quietly started blocking access to proxies that allow access to these torrent websites.

Image Credit – FinestDaily