Wiltshire Council circling in on loan sharks
12:54pm Friday 19th October 2012 in Latest News
Wiltshire Council is launching a new initiative to crack down on illegal loan sharks.
Trading standards officers are teaming up with the England Illegal Money Lending Team to target the practice, which makes lives a misery across the county.
Keith Humphries, Wiltshire Council cabinet member for public health and protection services said: “Loan sharks do not provide a community service, they prey on some of the most vulnerable people in society, causing imaginable stress and sometimes physical harm to people who have limited finances.
“Our officers can call on the expertise and experience of this national team and send out a clear message that this kind of practice will not be tolerated.”
Tony Quigley, head of the Government-funded illegal money lending team added: “Illegal lenders not only rip people off with extortionate rates of interest but resort to the most despicable methods to enforce their debts. We are sending out a clear message that this will not be tolerated.
“We would urge anyone affected by illegal money lending to call our confidential hotline on 0300 555 2222 as we can help.”
The collaboration will see the council working alongside Wiltshire Police, the Citizens Advice Bureau, credit unions and housing providers, to raise awareness of the impact of illegal money lending across the county.
The partnership will be launched on Friday October 26 by Councillor Humphries in a ceremony at the Corn Exchange, Devizes.
The 24-hour hotline can be used to report suspected loan sharks.
Alternatively, text ‘loan shark and your message to 60003, or visit www.direct.gov.uk/stoploansharks.