LG Clamps Down On Fake Merch

Birmingham’s LG Arena and the local police clamped down on fake merchandising to such effect they seized more than £10,000 worth of the stuff at a WWE show April 26.

Staff at the 15,700-seat arena also helped West Midlands Police and trading standards officers disrupt and arrest bootleggers, resulting in 20 banning orders being issued to gangs that had traveled from as far as Dublin, Manchester and Leeds.

“Bootlegging is not a victimless crime and we’re determined to stamp it out,” said Ken Pryce, security manager for NEC Group Arenas. “If you scratch the surface of these operations you quickly encounter criminal networks which span across the country. As well as selling shoddy merchandise to our customers they also act in an intimidating manner to our staff – and we won’t tolerate it.”

The LG has repeatedly called for action against bootleggers under the Trade Marks Act 1994 and Section 107 of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988.

Images of the bootleggers will be distributed to all LG security staff to ensure they can be quickly identified if they attempt to enter the site again.

Sergeant Liam Dalton, who headed the operation, said there has been an increasing number of operators intentionally passing off imitation merchandise as genuine.

“These gangs are not only committing patent and trademark infringement offenses, but they are also putting the lives of visitors to the arena at risk by blocking exits and footpaths; forcing members of the public in to the carriageway,” he said.