Barking and Dagenham launches drive to kick out loan sharks

A new drive to kick out loan sharks from the borough is being launched by the council.

Loan sharks are illegal money lenders who charge extremely high interest rates, often targeting vulnerable people.

Barking and Dagenham council has joined up with a team from Birmingham City Council that is being funded by the government to investigate loan sharks and pursue prosecutions.

The four objectives of the partnership are to assess the scale of the problem here, change the perception that loan sharks are rarely prosecuted, give support to victims and encourage victims to come forward.

Anyone can report a loan shark by email reportaloanshark@stoploansharks.gov.uk, calling 0300 555 2222 or visiting facebook.com/stoploansharkproject.

Cllr Jeanne Alexander, cabinet member for crime, justice and communities, said: “Illegal loan sharks are a blight on communities, targeting people when they are at their most vulnerable. Their extortionate interest rates and intimidatory behaviour creates misery and fear in the places they target.

“The sooner we can rid Barking and Dagenham of loan sharks the better.”

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