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The UK's police forces are going to be audited see if they're running pirated or unlicensed software. This is because at least one force has been caught running counterfeit copies of MS Office.

The Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) is to audit a sample of police IT equipment to see how widespread the problem is. The move was announced in parliament by junior Home Office minister Lord Bassam, reports Reuters.

Hampshire Constabulary was caught using counterfeit copies of Microsoft Office Pro 97 at the end of October.

Officers from the City of London arrested four men in connection with the crime at the time. Three of whom worked for Protocol Solutions, the integrators who set up the Hampshire force's IT system, and the fourth man was an ex-employee of Protocol. One of the men arrested was a former superintendent of Hampshire. All four were released without charge.

The police also raided Protocol's offices in Fareham.

Officers of the City of London police force are still investigating the case. Protocol declined an invitation to chat with The Register about the situation. ®

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