Gold award for England illegal money lending team

By on 08/03/2013 in News

The England Illegal Money Lending Team received a gold award in the connecting people category at this year’s Improvement and Efficiency Awards.

The Team who work in partnership with trading standards authorities to investigate and prosecute illegal money lending and related criminality, were commended for the work they do in communities to encourage people to make a change in terms of using loan sharks.

The Team work extensively across the country, encouraging people to turn away from loan sharks and report the crime to their 24/7 confidential hotline if they have been a victim. Events, campaigns and initiatives are usually funded with proceeds of crime money taken from convicted loan sharks.

The England Illegal Money Lending Team has worked in schools educating youngsters of the dangers. I has also held drop in events/advice days, visited homes, distributed publicity material and used drama and film as ways of connecting with communities.

They also offer tailored training sessions aimed at frontline staff at a range of agencies and the Community Advocate scheme aimed at the public. The sessions give attendees a greater understanding of the dangers of loan sharks, in order to support and signpost anyone they meet in their day to day lives who has been a victim of this crime.

The Team also run Your Choice events which give the public a say in how the cash which has been confiscated from loan sharks is spent. Your Choice events have been held across the country, with thousands of people voting in person or online and scores of worthwhile projects funded, helping to continue to spread the message that loan sharks should always be avoided.

Jacqui Kennedy,  Director of Regulation and Enforcement for Birmingham City Council, oversees the England Illegal Money Lending Team. She said: “We are delighted to win this award in recognition of all the hard work undertaken by our staff, in partnership with a huge number of supportive local agencies.

“Illegal money lending is a crime which erodes  our communities so it's vital that we do all we can to help the public understand why loan sharks are so dangerous, and provide somewhere where they can turn if they have been a victim.

“We have already supported more than 19,000 victims of loan sharks, helping them get back on their feet after such a horrendous time.  We will continue to tackle this crime and make a real difference to the lives of those affected.”

The IESE awards is in its fourth year and took place in London on March 3rd.  The awards recognise the transformation in local public services from councils, police, fire authorities and their private and third sector partners.  One hunderd and sixty five nominations were received in total with 27 public sector projects selected to compete for nine awards.


For more information contact Sarah-Jane Lynch on 0121 693 1030 or 07881617119.

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