Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 8°C

min temp: 7°C

ESTD 1874 Search

Suffolk: Crackdown on the loan sharks menace

13:47 24 January 2013

Councillor Colin Spence

Councillor Colin Spence

A CAMPAIGN to tackle loan sharks in Suffolk is to be officially launched next week.


Suffolk County Council and Ipswich Borough Council have teamed up with the England Illegal Money Lending Team for the week-long campaign to raise awareness of the dangers of loan sharks.

Through the initiative, numerous agencies hope to encourage both adults and young people to turn away from loan sharks and to report the crime if they have been a victim.

Colin Spence, Suffolk County Council’s cabinet member for public protection, said: “It is important to remember the very real dangers loan sharks pose to our communities.

“A moment of debt relief can quickly turn into a lifetime of financial misery and distress.

“Loan sharks never have your best interests at heart so I would strongly urge anyone considering using them to avoid them at all costs.”

Other agencies involved with the project, which will start on Monday, include Suffolk police, the East of England Co-operative Society, Ipswich and Suffolk Credit Union and the Salvation Army.

An integral part of the campaign is promoting the credit union as a safe and legal alternative to loan sharks.

Suffolk Trading Standards has put forward £5,000 of proceeds of crime money to encourage people to join up and save with Ipswich and Suffolk Credit Union.

Throughout next week, representatives from the agencies involved, as well as Sid the Shark, will be out and about visiting communities and primary schools offering advice.

An estimated 310,000 households across the country are in debt to a loan shark. Tony Quigley, head of the England Illegal Money Lending Team, said: “Illegal money lending is a despicable crime which causes nothing but harm to our communities.

“These lenders may appear to be offering a community service, but borrowers are often forced to pay back far and above what they have borrowed and can afford.”

Nationally the Illegal Money Lending Teams have secured 220 prosecutions for illegal money lending activity, leading to more than 150 year’s worth of prison sentences.

They have written off almost £40million worth of illegal debt and helped more than 19,000 victims.

If you have been the victim, of a loan shark, you can report the crime to confidential hotline 0300 555 2222.



Annual Bury St Edmunds Christmas Fayre

The annual Christmas Fayre will see around 120,000 people descend on Bury St Edmunds over four days.

Nick Alexander, who died in the Bataclan massacre, in Paris, France. Photo: Foreign & Commonwealth Office/PA Wire.

The singer from the Eagles of Death Metal has paid tribute to Nick Alexander for his selflessness during the massacre at the Paris theatre where 89 people died almost two weeks ago.

Hawkedon Veterinary Surgery is sponsoring a bag dispenser and bags for dog walkers to pick up and dispose of dog’s mess in Nowton Park, Bury St Edmunds. Left to right, Cllr Joanna Rayner and veterinary surgeon Rosina Page-Baker with Marley the dog.

A new initiative to reduce dog fouling in west Suffolk has seen dog bag dispensers installed at two popular parks.

Could the Crown car park be replaced by a prefab platform like this one at Manningtree?

Should Ipswich Borough Council spend £3million on doubling the size of the Crown Car Park – or go the whole hog and quadruple it at a cost of about £12m?

The A134 at Assington.

This year’s death toll on Suffolk’s roads is now the worst since 2009 after six fatalities in the last 13 days, according to police figures.

The fire service cordons off an area near Marks and Spencer on Westgate Street where UK Power Networks works to find a gas leak.

A shop in Ipswich high street has been evacuated as carbon monoxide has been detected in the basement.

Bridge campaigners Peter and Mary Curry and Jane Welsh with Braintree MP James Cleverly,

A temporary replacement should be provided in Finchingfield while works are carried out on the main bridge – according to a council report from five years ago.

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages

Local business directory

Our trusted business finder

Property search

e.g. Oxford or NW3
Powered by Zoopla

Digital Edition

Read the East Anglian Daily Times e-edition today E-edition

Great British Life

Great British Life
MyDate24 MyPhotos24