Loan sharks campaign helps Evesham victims 'bite back' - The Evesham Observer

Loan sharks campaign helps Evesham victims 'bite back'

Evesham Editorial 5th Oct, 2018   0

A WEEK-LONG campaign has been taking place in Evesham and Bengeworth to warn residents about the dangers of loan sharks.

The event, which began on Monday, has been organised by the England Illegal Money Lending Team (IMLT), in conjunction with Wychavon District Council, Worcestershire County Council and Rooftop Housing Group.

Residents are also being encouraged to contact the IMLT if they have been the victim of a loan shark and advised of alternative affordable lending options.

Loan shark leaflets have been distributed to Rooftop Housing tenants and beer mats have been distributed at local pubs to inform people how to report illegal money lenders.

The ‘Sid the Shark’ mascot has been out and about in Evesham during the week highlighting the work of the IMLT and partners, and residents have been encouraged to share photos of him on social media with the hashtag #StopLoanSharks.

Sid has also paid children a visit at Swan Lane and Bengeworth First Schools to promote the stop loan sharks poster competition and prizes.

Tony Quigley, head of the IMLT, said: “Illegal money lenders are criminals who prey on vulnerable communities, charging exorbitant rates of interest and using fear and intimidation to recover monies ‘owed’.”

He urged victims of loan sharks to report them so the ‘unscrupulous lenders’ could be brought to justice.

A Rooftop Housing Group spokesperson added: “By raising awareness through this campaign, or through the work of our money and work advisors, we know that criminals who prey on the vulnerable will be exposed.”

Coun Gerry O’Donnell, Wychavon’s board member for health and wellbeing, said: “This campaign is to help support people to bite back against illegal lenders, by reporting loan sharks to the IMLT and saving through the Credit Union.

“Being a victim of a loan shark can have a serious impact on mental and emotional health and the council is committed to stamping out this awful crime.”

Money confiscated from convicted loan sharks will be used to back new credit union accounts in Evesham.

The England IMLT is working with Castle and Crystal Credit Union to use proceeds of crime money as an incentive to encourage people in Evesham to save, and to raise awareness of the dangers of borrowing from illegal money lenders.

The first 50 people to join Castle & Crystal Credit Union before the end of December, and who save £1 per week for 13 weeks, will qualify for a £25 savings boost.

Visit for more information on the credit union and how to access affordable loans and secure savings accounts.

Call 0300 555 2222, email [email protected] or visit to report loan sharks.


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