SALEWESTVOICE are pleased to support Trafford Council during Loan Shark week of action.
Teaming up with Greater Manchester Police, the National Illegal Money Lending Team, SWAP, businesses and Sale West residents the aim is to tackle the impact of illegal Loan Shark operations in the area.
Nationally over 300,000 households are in debt to a Loan Shark.
The week of action is following on from the success of a similar campaign in 2012, which saw local residents embark on a Loan Shark awareness work-shop, learning skills and tips that were then shared with the wider community.
Throughout the week SaleWestVoice (@swvm33) will be tweeting daily updates and statistics, as well as contact details of where to find help and advice on dealing with a Loan Shark.
Over on Facebook there is the stoploansharksproject and the Illegal Money Lending Team can be contacted via Twitter – @loansharknews
Loan Shark Week of Action will run from Monday 3rd March through to Friday 7th, here’s a guide to what’s on….
- Monday 3rd: The official launch is at 10am, at the Sunshine Cafe in Sale West Community Centre. The local press will be there, along with other partners from the Loan Shark week of action team.
- Tuesday 4th: The morning will see Sid the Shark visiting Firs Primary School for morning assembly. In the afternoon Sid will swim over to Woodheys Primary School before relaxing for the evening:) The children at both schools will be encouraged to take part in a poster competition, with a prize for the winner:)
- Tuesday 4th – Evening: Between 5pm and 7pm there will be a Loan Shark Stand at the Nisa Store on Manor avenue, where partners will be on-hand to offer advice.
- Wednesday 5th: The Loan Shark Stand, along with partners offering advice, will be situated at the Tesco Store/Petrol Station on Manor Road between 5pm and 7pm.
- Thursday 6th: In the afternoon, between 1pm and 3pm, the Loan Shark Stand will be at Firsway Health Centre before moving to the Co-Op on Ashton Village between 5pm and 7pm.
- Friday 7th: Loan Shark week of action will end with the Loan Shark Stand and partners spending the afternoon, between 2pm and 4pm, at Bodmin Road Health Centre.
There will be a questionnaire circulated throughout Sale West during the week too, including information on the local Credit Union and how to access the service.
For more information on the Credit Union and how it works see my previous article: Sale West Credit Union – The smart way to save.
Inspector Laura Burgess from Trafford South Integrated Neighbourhood Policing Team said: “The activities of these individuals [loan sharks] can cause misery among communities. We are pleased to be working with partner agencies to tackle this problem. I urge Sale West residents to contact the telephone number which will be displayed on banners and posters if the wish to discuss this issue.”
Nationally the Stop Loan Shark Project has secured over 300 prosecutions for illegal money lending and related activity, leading to 190 years’ worth of custodial sentences. They have written off just under £42 million worth of illegal debt and helped over 23,000 victims.
Head of the National Illegal Money Lending Team Tony Quigley said: “Illegal money lenders are a scourge on our communities. These criminals are motivated by greed and have been known to use the worst kind of bully tactics to force people to pay back over the odds. We would urge anyone who is the victim of an illegal lender to call us in confidence on 0300 555 2222. Calls are answered 24/7 by a trained investigator.”
Here is a short video where the victim of a Loan Shark talks about her experience….
I’ll sign off with a couple of facts about loan sharks, and the various places you can contact for help and advice. Don’t suffer in silence and please don’t struggle alone….
- The highest interest charged by a loan shark was calculated at 131,000% APR…
- Debts to a loan shark can not be legally enforced – once they’ve been caught you are under no legal obligate to repay.
There are several ways to report a loan shark, here’s a few…
- Call the 24/7 confidential hotline number 0300 555 2222
- Texting ‘loan shark and your message’ to 60003
- Email firstname.lastname@example.org
- Log onto http://www.direct.gov.uk/stoploansharks
- Via Facebook – stoploansharkproject