A NEW campaign has been launched to bite back at loan sharks and encourage victims who have been affected during the Christmas period to come forward.
The England Illegal Money Lending Team (IMLT)- a specialist team that investigates and prosecute loan sharks – started the ‘Why I Borrowed’ campaign to encourage people to report illegal money lenders.
The national campaign tells the real-life stories of victims who have been put through a harrowing time because of loan sharks.
A recent survey conducted by the IMLT revealed more than 60 per cent of borrowers said they were in a state of depression or severe anxiety because of their involvement with a loan shark, with nearly a third of victims saying they considered committing suicide.
Tony Quigley, head of the Illegal Money Lending Team, said: “Loan-sharking can have such a detrimental impact on our communities, it is a crime that often goes unreported because victims are scared of the repercussions or they don’t realise that what is happening to them is illegal.
“We want to reassure victims that they are not the ones breaking the law and that help and support is available.”
Nationally, Illegal Money Lending Teams have secured more than 380 prosecutions for illegal money lending and related activity, leading to nearly 328 years’ worth of custodial sentences.
They have written off £72.5m worth of illegal debt and helped more than 27,500 people.
Call 0300 555 2222 anonymously or visit www.stoploansharks.uk to talk to team of dedicated support officers.