EDDC bites back against loan sharks
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A rise in people falling prey to illegal money lenders has prompted a multi-agency ‘bite back’ to help raise awareness and support potential victims.
Communities in Sidmouth, Manstone and Sidford will be targeted this week in efforts to inform people about the misery caused by ‘loan sharks’ who dish out funds and then charge extremely high rates of interest.
East Devon District Council (EDDC) is working in partnership with Trading Standards and the Illegal Money Lending Team to host workshops, information leaflet drops and interactive door knocks with tenants and communities to raise awareness of the issue.
EDDC’s community development worker Aaron Clark said: “The aim of the week is to make people aware of the loan shark issues that have been occurring in East Devon.
“Through raising awareness in the communities of Sidmouth, we hope to increase knowledge and understanding of the troubles surrounding loan shark activity.
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“We hope to help and direct possible victims into finding the correct support and guidance for them.
“We are not sure how many loan sharks are operating in the area exactly, but we are aware of places and hotspots, for example local pubs and social clubs, where illegal money lending is taking place. This is a national issue.”
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Head of the Illegal Money Lending Team, Tony Quigley, said: “Illegal money lending has devastating consequences on people’s lives and those affected are often among the most disadvantaged in our communities.
“We continue to crack down on loan sharks and bring to justice these people who are only motivated by greed.
“We would urge anyone with information about loan sharks or anyone who has been a victim to contact the Illegal Money Lending Team on 0300 555 2222.”