The Illegal Money Lending Team (IMLT) are working with Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council to educate residents on safe borrowing and the dangers of using loan sharks.
Together with Staffordshire North & Stoke-on-Trent Citizens Advice, officers from the IMLT will be present on Miners’ Estate in Kidsgrove this week to deliver illegal money lending training to local tenants and debt advocates.
On Tuesday 7 and Wednesday 8 November, a representative from the IMLT will be speaking to local organisations and residents about the impact of loan sharks and how to spot the signs of illegal money lending.
Residents will be offered free benefit checks at the sessions to ensure they are receiving the money they are entitled to.
The training events form part of a wider financial inclusion project that Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council are delivering over the course of the coming months. The IMLT are commissioning the project using £1,500 of proceeds of crime money; cash that’s been confiscated from convicted loan sharks through the Proceeds of Crime Act (2002).
The aim of the project is to find financial inclusion champions in the community who will help spread the message about loan sharks and support struggling residents to access debt advice and safe credit.
The Illegal Money Lending training sessions will take place at the following locations:
Tuesday 7 November
Galley Centre, Whitehall Avenue, Kidsgrove
10am – 11.30am – Illegal money lending training for residents and agencies
11.45am – 1.45pm – Financial capability training for residents and agencies
Wednesday 8 November
Tesco Superstore, Liverpool Road, Kidsgrove, ST7 1DX
3pm – 5pm – Loan shark information stand and speaking to Tesco shoppers
5pm – 6.30pm – Illegal money lending training session for residents and agencies
Councillor Kyle Robinson, Butt Lane Councillor and Cabinet Member for Planning and Housing, said:
“I am so pleased that Newcastle Borough Council has been able to secure external funding for these awareness raising and training sessions in the Kidsgrove community. Loan sharks and illegal money lending practices exist in most communities and so the local council is working hard to make sure we do all we can to stamp it out. I welcome positive partnership working with the Illegal Money Lending Team England and other local organisations to ensure our local residents are protected from criminals preying on vulnerable people.
Tony Quigley, Head of the England Illegal Money Lending Team, said:
“Loan sharks are unscrupulous criminals who prey on the most vulnerable in our society. We are pleased to be working with our partners to raise awareness of illegal money lending and the help and support that’s available to victims of this crime.
“If you or someone you know has borrowed from a loan shark, we urge you to get in touch on 0300 555 2222. We will take information anonymously and in confidence. For more information on how our team can help you, visit www.stoploansharks.uk.”
Nationally, Illegal Money Lending Teams have secured more than 380 prosecutions for illegal money lending and related activity, leading to nearly 328 years’ worth of custodial sentences. They have written off £72.5 million worth of illegal debt and helped over 27,000 people.
To report a loan shark:
Call the 24/7 confidential hotline 0300 555 2222
Text a report to 078600 22116
Visit the website www.stoploansharks.co.uk
Private message us on www.facebook.com/stoploansharksproject