Minister hails counterfeiting crackdown on social media a success

Enforcement teams raided premises across the country last week as Operation Jasper, the UK’s biggest crackdown on counterfeiting and piracy enabled through social media, entered its second phase.

Enforcement teams raided premises across the country last week as Operation Jasper, the UK’s biggest crackdown on counterfeiting and piracy enabled through social media, entered its second phase.

The raids saw Trading Standards and police officers seize a range of counterfeit and dangerous goods destined for sale to customers on popular social media platforms. Goods seized in the latest phase of the operation included IPTV devices, clothing, footwear, headphones, music CDs and illicit tobacco.

Social media is now the primary online marketplace for organised criminals trading in counterfeit and pirated goods. In the UK, 72% of internet users now have a social media profile and 81% of those users access social media at least once a day. It has become easier than ever for criminals and rogue traders to target consumers online through social media.

Since its launch in May 2015, Operation Jasper has seen 7,800 Facebook profiles taken down or delisted, 42 warrants executed, 213 warnings issued, 66 cease and desist letters sent and currently involves 63 separate on-going investigations.

Mike Andrews from the National Trading Standards eCrime Team said: “This year we’ve worked more closely with Facebook to take down rogue profiles and listings selling dangerous and counterfeit goods, and also pirated media. There are also more Facebook sellers taking orders from consumers and fulfilling those orders with goods from third party sources.”

Operation Jasper brings together officers from local authority Trading Standards teams, Police officers, industry bodies and government agencies under the co-ordination of the National Markets Group working closely with the National Trading Standards eCrime Team.

The National Markets Group membership includes the Intellectual Property Office, the Police, BPI (British Recorded Music Industry), Anti-Counterfeiting Group (ACG), the Federation against Copyright Theft (FACT), TM Eye, Department for Work and Pensions, the Alliance for Intellectual Property, Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs, Scambusters and many local authority Trading Standards teams.
Minister for Intellectual Property, Baroness Neville Rolfe DBE CMG, said:

“The Government is committed to tackling counterfeiting and it’s great to see this successful operation. Industry, government and enforcement agencies need to continue to work together to tackle counterfeiting and disrupt organised criminal networks who use social media sites to commit IP crime. The fantastic results of this operation show what partnership working can achieve.”


Notes to Editors

For media enquiries, interview requests or more information relating to this joint press release between National Trading Standards and the National Markets Group please contact the National Trading Standards press office on 020 7025 7570 or e-mail

For information about the Intellectual Property Office contact: Joseph Williams at the Intellectual Property Office on 0207 034 2834 or email on:

Other National Markets Group member’s contact numbers:

National Markets Group – 02921 202597

Anti-Counterfeiting Group – 01494 449165

BPI (British Recorded Music Industry) - 020 7803 1300

Federation Against Copyright Theft – 020 8891 1217

Notes to Editors

National Trading Standards

  • National Trading Standards is a group of senior and experienced local government heads of trading standards, representing all trading standards services across England and Wales. National Trading Standards has been set up by the Government as part of changes to the consumer protection landscape and an enhanced role for trading standards.
  • National Trading Standards provides leadership influence, support and resources to help combat consumer and business detriment locally, regionally and nationally.

National Trading Standards eCrime Team

  • Funded by the National Trading Standards, the National Trading Standards eCrime Team recognises that a secure and safe online environment that protects consumers and allows businesses to flourish is vital to the long term success of the UK economy.
  • The eCrime Team provides a national resource to support all local authority areas in England and Wales, tackling the increasing threat to businesses and consumers in relation