Progress in the fight against counterfeiting and intellectual property (IP) continues to be hampered by a lack of co-ordination from government departments, the Alliance Against IP Theft has claimed.

The Alliance, a coalition of trade and enforcement organisations, said government departments weren't doing enough to tackle the problem.

It called for a more effective system of damages to deter criminals involved in the crimes, and action to clamp down on car boot sales which it said were awash with fake goods, including cigarettes and alcohol.

Alliance chairwoman Lavinia Carey said that counterfeiting and IP crime remained a low priority for local authorities, which meant that Trading Standards often received inadequate funding to be able to deal with the crime.

Carey added: "UK industry continues to lose at least £10bn a year from IP theft, a figure which is likely to grow with serious criminal gangs ever ready to exploit the ease with which they can ply their illegal wares.

"Tackling this effectively is only possible with all parts of government working together and fully appreciating the economic, social and consumer impact of IP theft. Industry clearly has a role to play here, too, and the Alliance is ready and willing to be government's partner in ensuring that, with the rapid technological changes we face, the UK's IP regime continues to be robust, effective and fit for purpose."

A haul of counterfeit cigarettes discovered in Liverpool last week was found to contain arsenic, fibreglass and rat droppings.

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