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VIDEO: Torbay Council joins the war on loan sharks

By This is SouthDevon  |  Posted: November 28, 2012

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TORBAY Council is joining the fight against loan sharks this Christmas.

The authority is among many teaming up with the England Illegal Money Lending Team to target loan sharks who cause misery in communities.

The team says it aims to put an end to the callous crime by enforcement and education.

A spokesman said: "The message is clear - what may seem like a small loan to tide people over for Christmas could end up costing them well into the New Year and beyond.

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"The effect is not just financial. The impact on the lives of victims and their families can be horrific."

Tony Quigley, the head of the England Illegal Money Lending Team, said: "No matter how much you are struggling financially, loan sharks are not the answer.

"They are motivated only by their own greed and are not offering you a service.

"These criminals should always be avoided at all costs.

"They could easily ruin your Christmas and you could be subjected to years of harassment, paying back your loan several times over.

"We’d recommend credit unions as a safe and legal alternative."

Cllr Robert Excell, Torbay Council's Executive Lead for Safer Communities, said: "We are pleased once again to be supporting the work of the England Illegal Money Lending Team.

"We recently worked in partnership with them and the theatre company Shontal who laid on a stage drama performance in Brixham, warning of the dangers of loan sharks.

"We welcome the team's efforts to raise public awareness, advising people on how to avoid falling prey to illegal money lenders."

To highlight the impact the England Illegal Money Lending Team has released a video compilation of real life victims' stories, in which those who have suffered at the hands of loan sharks explain in their own words how horrendous their experiences were.

The team says that in many cases the loan sharks are involved in wider criminality including drugs and firearms offences, and it will prosecute for all offences.

Anyone who has been the victim of a loan shark can call 0300 555 2222 to speak to the England Illegal Money Lending Team in confidence. Lines will be answered 24/7 by a trained investigator throughout the festive season.

They can also text ‘loan shark + your message’ to 60003; e-mail reportaloanshark@stoploansharks.gov.uk or private message the team on www.facebook.com/stoploansharksproject

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  • ColinTheComet  |  November 28 2012, 6:53PM

    Starve the leeches of their victims! 1, Aim for an economy that isn't just about low paid, seasonal jobs in tourism. 2, Don't follow the race to the bottom through regional wages that hit the lower paid staff worst - it was worrying to see a Torbay Council rep at the recent NHS trust cartel meeting that was reported on local tv. 3, Educate young people in our local schools so they understand personal finance and know they have legal rights.

  • Othursty1  |  November 28 2012, 11:25AM

    The video was great at showing the heartbreak the victims go through - but then ends with the joke "prison sentences totally 130 years have been handed out". That is the disgrace right there. If you have 130 loan sharks then that's one year each. Where is the justice exactly. Lock them away for life meaning life - and I don't mean in a nice cozy cell with the latest mod-cons - I mean chuck them in a pit without sanitation and leave them there to struggle to survive with other prisoners. Chuck food scraps in once a day and let them fight it out. See what it's like to struggle like their victims did day after day, struggling for existence. How can one government focus so much on 'reforming prisoners' and 'give them all the support they require' at a time when the same government uses the other hand to take from the people who conform to rules set by the same government. We've seen literature after literature saying most convicts reoffend once released from prison - exactly, they don't change and can't change. Stop pretending that they might change if we throw millions of pounds at them. Justice? - what justice. It's a joke.

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