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Dealers charged with pirate supply to 23 police forces

That's more than half of the UK's cop shops

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The directors of a bust Hampshire dealership have been charged with supplying counterfeit software to more than half of the UK's police forces.

The three directors of Protocol Systems, which went into receivership last month, are to appear in court on 19 March. The summons they received list 23 police forces which were supplied with pirated software between 16 June 1999 and 14 December 1999.

The directors are: Stephen Heagren, aged 46, of Whiteparish, Wiltshire; Geoffrey Skinner, aged 40, of Southampton, Hampshire; and Jacqueline Smith, aged 46, of Lyndhurst, Hampshire.

The City of London police force started investigating Protocol when Hampshire Constabulary was caught using counterfeit copies of Microsoft Office Pro 97 at the end of October 2000.

In December, the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) announced it was to investigate the extent of the problem with an audit of all police forces. ®

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