The England Illegal Money Lending Team, hosted by Birmingham City Council, are joining forces with Age Concern Birmingham to warn their service users about the dangers of loan sharks.
The team will provide training to Age Concern's staff and volunteers so they can spot any signs. Typically some older residents may come across their children or grandchildren borrowing from a loan shark, so this essential message will allow them to point them in the right direction for help.
On Wednesday 1st October, Age Concern will host a drop-in event at Hawkesley Community Centre, 51 Edgewood Road, Kings Norton, between 11am and 2pm. The event will see a range of partners demonstrating a range of services to help individuals become and remain financially stable.
Richard Shaw, Director of Development for the charity, said 'Through our own debt advice services we see many people who struggle with debt and the surrounding embarrassment. We want to ensure that people ask for support early and so don't fall victim to illegal lending.
Councillor Barbara Dring, Chair of the Licensing and Public Protection Committee at Birmingham City Council, said: “Loan sharks target those who are struggling financially and trap them in spiralling debt. They control borrowers' lives and leave them living in fear, causing misery in our communities.
“However, events like this help us to raise awareness of this horrendous crime and prevent people from falling into a loan sharks trap. If you or anyone you know has been a victim of a loan shark, please call the Illegal Money Lending Team on 0300 555 2222 in the strictest confidence, as they can help you.”
For updates on the campaign visit www.facebook.com/stoploansharksproject of twitter: @loansharknews
To report a loan shark:
Call the 24/7 confidential hotline 0300 555 2222
Text 'loan shark + your message' to 60003
Private message us on www.facebook.com/stoploansharksproject
For more information: Contact David Benbow, Illegal Money Lending Team LIAISE Manager, on 07557 203 257 or email David.A.Benbow@birmingham.gov.uk
For more general enquiries regarding the National Trading Standards Board please call 020 7025 7570 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Notes to editors
National Trading Standards Board
- The National Trading Standards Board is a group of senior and experienced local government heads of trading standards, representing all trading standards services across England and Wales.
- The Board was set up by the Government as part of changes to the consumer protection landscape and an enhanced role for trading standards. The National Trading Standards Board provides leadership influence, support and resources to help combat consumer and business detriment locally, regionally and nationally.
Stop Loan Sharks Project
- The Stop Loan Sharks Project consists of three Illegal money lending teams in England, Scotland and Wales. The National Trading Standards Board has responsibility for the England and Wales Illegal Money Lending Teams that are hosted by Birmingham City Council and Cardiff Council. There are separate arrangements in place in Scotland.
- Nationally, Illegal Money Lending Teams have secured more than 310 prosecutions for illegal money lending and related activity, leading to nearly 200 years' worth of custodial sentences. They have written off £59 million worth of illegal debt and helped nearly 24,500 people.
- The Illegal Money Lending Teams in England and Wales work in partnership with local Trading Standards Authorities in their related countries. They consist of specialist officers who investigate and prosecute illegal money lending and related activity and LIAISE officers who support victims and raise awareness of the dangers of borrowing from illegal money lenders.