The Police and Crime Commissioner, Simon Foster, is taking his fight against loan sharks to Wolverhampton.
The PCC has already funded a social media and leaflet campaign in Birmingham, which warned people of the dangers of borrowing from illegal money lenders.
Now the PCC is joining forces with Wolverhampton City Credit Union and the Illegal Money Lending team to spread the message that residents there need to be on their guard against criminals who offer to lend them cash.
The rates they charge are often astronomical and they are known to use threatening behaviour and violence against people who struggle to pay the money back.
The PCC is joining his young Police Cadets, distributing leaflets at Bentley Bridge in Wolverhampton on Saturday afternoon.
With the cost of living crisis refusing to ease, the fear is that some people might borrow much needed money from criminal lenders. But the PCC is warning people, through his hard-hitting campaign, that it would be a mistake. It also raises awareness of legitimate and responsible lenders that exist, like credit unions.
Credit Unions are similar to banks, but work on a not-for-profit basis and will often go further to support people, who might not be able to get help from high street banks.
The Centre for Social Justice estimates that around 1 million people could be borrowing from illegal money lenders in England, whilst 2 in 5 confessed to concealing a financial product, like a credit card, from a loved one.
The England Illegal Money Lending Team investigates illegal money lenders and supports people who have borrowed from loan sharks.
“We know that the cost of living crisis is being felt by everybody in the West Midlands and it is showing no signs of easing.
“We also know that loan sharks prey on vulnerable individuals who are in urgent need of cash. But sadly. illegal money lenders are not out to help people. Instead they take advantage of people when they are at their most vulnerable and will resort to violence and threatening behaviour.
“My campaign is about warning people of the dangers and highlighting other routes to finance that are safer and legal.”
Anyone who is being threatened should contact West Midlands Police immediately to report illegal Money Lenders.
Jon Pope from Wolverhampton City Credit Union: “We are delighted to be working together with the Police and Crime Commissioner to raise awareness of the threat of illegal money lenders and the negative effects they can have on the people in our community’s lives.”
Tony Quigley, Head of the Illegal Money Lending Team said “Loan sharks prey on vulnerable people. Sometimes people think the person lending them money is their friend, but in reality these are unscrupulous criminals. We have worked with people who have borrowed £500 and paid back tens of thousands. If you think you might have borrowed from a loan shark and would like to talk to us about how we can help you please call us on 0300 555 2222 or visit www.stoploansharks.co.uk”Back to News Archive