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Crime: Intellectual Property

Volume 460: debated on Wednesday 23 May 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what progress has been made in implementing the recommendation of the Gowers Review that intellectual property crime should be given higher policing priority; what support he has given to police forces on intellectual property crime; and if he will make a statement. (137459)

The Gowers Review recommended that

“The Home Office should recognise IP crime as an area for police action as a component of organised crime within the updated National Community Safety Plan.”

This has been implemented. The National Community Safety Plan update, published in November last year, includes among key actions for the police service in 2007-08:

“To ensure asset recovery powers are used to the full and to have strategies against all the major threats set out in the UK Threat Assessment ...including fraud and intellectual property crime.”

The Home Office plays an active role in the National IP Crime Strategy and the SOCA programme board on tackling serious criminals involved in identity fraud, IP theft and counterfeit currency. The priority given to IP crime by all Government enforcement agencies has risen since the launch of the national IP Crime strategy in 2004, with ACPO identifying IP Crime as a spotlight crime. Government recently committed an additional £5 million for 2007-08 to accompany additional powers for Trading Standards to enforce against copyright counterfeiting and piracy.