Crackdown on loan sharks launched
An estimated 310,000 households are believed to be in debt to unlicensed lenders across England.
A new specialist team launching in Devon will be snapping on the heels of loan sharks as part of a crackdown.
The team will be launching a week of action from Monday, January 16, targeting illegal money lenders across the county.
Devon County Council’s trading standards department has joined forces with the England Illegal Money Lending Team to investigate and prosecute loan sharks.
According to national figures more than 200 prosecutions have been brought leading to more than 128 years worth of custodial sentences for illegal money lending and related offences.
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Almost �40 million worth of illegal debt has been written off but an estimated 310,000 households are believed to be in debt to unlicensed lenders across England.
Tony Quigley, Head of the England Illegal Money Lending Team said “Illegal money lenders can have a hugely detrimental impact on communities; they are not providing a service but causing misery and fear.
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“Many will leave their victims with a very poor quality of life, often resorting to threats, violence and other bully tactics to enforce the debt.”
The new team will be working with local organisations to raise awareness of the dangers of borrowing from loan sharks and bring illegal activity to light.
Anyone who is the victim of an illegal money lender is urged to contact The England Illegal Money Lending team on 0300 555 2222.