Police Using Sniffer Dogs in Pirate DVD Crackdown

Tue, 02 Sep 2008

The police have begun using sniffer dogs in their efforts to clamp down on pirate DVDs . The dogs are trained in Northern Ireland and are taught to detect the plastics and chemicals used in the DVDs. Police are hoping the dogs will be able to help in the fight against the £200 million industry once they are deployed on a larger scale. Britain has the world’s second largest pirate DVD market after America, having sold nearly 50 million fakes last year.

Early trials have been successful and included an operation in London’s Tower Hamlets. Police officers also used the dogs in Whitechapel car parks last week – an operation which led to 474 counterfeits being discovered and one arrest being made. The greatest success dogs have had so far occurred in Malaysia, when 1.7 million pirate DVDs were discovered. Those found guilty of selling pirate DVDs can face up to ten years in prison and an unlimited fine, with the latter more likely.

One slight drawback is that the dogs are unable to determine between real and pirate DVDs, though large volumes of DVDs can be scanned in minutes, helping to speed up police operations.

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