HOUSES have been raided by council officers investigating illegal TV streaming and counterfeit goods.

Durham County Council’s trading standards team executed warrants at three houses, in relation to suspected intellectual property crime.

On Wednesday, December 11, officers removed suspected counterfeit goods from a property in the Consett area.

A week later, they called at a property in the Chester-le-Street area in relation to the illegal streaming of subscription TV packages online – an offence under copyright law.

And last Thursday, officers were at a Ferryhill property in relation to the suspected supply of counterfeit goods and seized items including trainers, clothing and make-up.

Investigations are ongoing into all three raids.

Owen Cleugh, the council’s consumer protection manager, said: “Intellectual property crime – be that selling counterfeit items or infringing copyright through illegal streaming – is damaging in two ways. It causes law abiding, tax-paying companies to lose out financially and can mean consumers receiving a lower quality product. In some cases of counterfeit goods they can also be more dangerous.”

He said there is an upsurge in counterfeit activity in the lead-up to Christmas and urged people not to buy items they suspect may be counterfeit and to report them via the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on 03454-040506.