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Two Officers Crowned Anti-Piracy Investigator Of The Year

ELSPA Award for Individual Excellence given to two Trading Standards officers.

Monday 12th November/... ELSPA (the Entertainment and Leisure Software Publishers Association) today announced that not one, but two Trading Standards officers have been chosen as the recipients of this year's coveted ELSPA Anti Piracy Officer of the Year Award for Excellence.

South Gloucestershire Trading Standards' Senior Enforcement Officer, Neil Derrick, who has been recognised for a second time, and John Bright, an Enforcement Officer with Sandwell Trading Standards, share the spoils for this year's coveted anti-piracy officer of the year award.

Mr Derrick today became the second recipient of this year's ELSPA Anti Piracy Officer of the Year Award for Excellence which was presented to him by ELSPA's Anti-Piracy Unit (APU) manager, John Hillier, at the trading standards offices in Pilning. He has been recognised for his tireless, effective and committed efforts in working to stamp out sales of pirated videogames within the South Gloucestershire area. Mr Derrick has worked in conjunction with ELSPA Investigators, who represent brands such as Nintendo, Xbox and PlayStation since 2004 and has notched up many notable successes.

Mr Derrick said: "I am delighted to have been recognised again for my efforts in countering the theft of videogames through copying. We are confident that we are making headway in South Gloucestershire in tackling this problem, and our results show that we are doing this successfully. "

He added: "We have had a very good working relationship with ELSPA and other bodies dealing with counterfeiting. We recognise that protecting the value of creators and their work by taking action against those would try to copy the originals and sell them illegally, maintains a core value of respect that is so important to our local communities".

John Bright, co recipient of the award, which was presented to him by ELSPA's Anti-Piracy Unit (APU) manager, John Hillier, on 18th October, said: "I am honored and proud to have won this award which I could not have done without the support of all my colleagues and industry partners, with whom we work so closely."

Over the past five years Sandwell Trading Standards have seized nearly a million counterfeit items including 72,100 DVDs and CDs containing games, films and music. The true value of the hauls is in the region of £5-10 million. This year alone, Mr Bright has been personally involved in organising one of the biggest investigations Sandwell Trading Standards have ever undertaken against counterfeiters operating in the West Midlands region. Over 50,000 illegally copied discs, containing games, films and music and 16 computers were seized in this outstanding operation.

During the last year, both Sandwell and South Gloucestershire Trading Standards have worked consistently with ELSPA investigators and the partnerships have been extremely effective in dealing with the problem of counterfeit games sales. As a result, many successful prosecutions have been taken place, and the offenders have received stiff penalties and thousands of pounds worth of illegal stock and computer equipment has been forfeited.

John Hillier, manager of ELSPA's Anti-Piracy Unit (APU), said: "ELSPA are delighted to present this award to John and Neil, who, over the last twelve months, have consistently demonstrated their professionalism and excellent enforcement skills in tackling intellectual property crime on behalf of the games industry."

Michael Rawlinson, managing director of ELSPA, said: "This award is given to individuals who have shown outstanding dedication to their profession on behalf of our members. ELSPA welcomes the opportunity to recognise by their success true professionals."

Anyone with any information on computer games piracy should contact the police, their local Trading Standards Office or call the ELSPA anti piracy unit hotline on 08705 133405.



About Software Piracy and its negative impact on both consumers and industry.

ELSPA estimates criminal gain through computer and video games piracy sits at approximately £540 million. Piracy/counterfeiting is illegal and punishable by fines and jail sentences.

The illegal copying of software poses the very real threat of criminal prosecution and a criminal record, as well as the risk of massive personal financial loss under the Proceeds of Crime Act.

Consumers have no recourse under law for faulty pirated games, which can damage hardware.

Counterfeited/pirated games are often mixed with obscene or pornographic material.

Local and national jobs are lost as result of pirate operations.

Proven links exist between many organised counterfeiting organisations and dealers in drugs and pornography.

For further information on ELSPA or to arrange interviews, please contact:

Tom Sargent/Laura West

Barrington Harvey

Tel: 01462 456780

Fax: 01462 456781

Email: tom.sargent@bhpr.co.uk/ laura.west@bhpr.co.uk

Issued by: Barrington Harvey, Trooper's Yard, Bancroft, Hitchin SG5 1JW

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