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Loan shark campaign hits the streets of Carlisle

Loan sharks are being targetted in Carlisle as part of a crackdown on illegal money lending.

Trading standards officers and the police are handing out leaflets in the city centre warning people about the dangers of borrowing money from unregulated lenders.

They're also warning loan sharks that there will be a zero tolerance approach to those taking advantage of people struggling in these tough financial times.

Advice against using loan sharks

The mascot 'Sid the Shark' will be touring the street of Carlisle offering advice against using loan sharks.

Trading Standards, in partnership with the England Illegal Money Lending Team, have been hosting the 'Week of Action.'

It aims to raise awareness of illegal money lending and reward people who join Carlisle Credit Union.

The week has included training sessions for officers and councillors from the county and city council and school visits and lessons in Loan Shark awareness.

Also the first 100 Cumbrians who join the Carlisle Credit Union during the week will have the £1 membership waived.

The 'Week of Action' and the Credit Union initiative is being funded via cash confiscated from illegal money lenders, giving it back to the local communities affected by loan sharks.

"This will put illegal loan sharks in the spotlight and help prevent the hard-pressed in our communities falling victim. This sends a clear message that illegal money lending will not be tolerated under any circumstances."

– Angela Jones, Cumbria County Council's Trading Standards Manager

"We are continuing to crack down on this crime and bring offenders to justice. Loan sharks may appear friendly at first but they are not a community service, they are motivated only by greed and will resort to the most callous methods to force borrowers into paying back above and beyond, what they have borrowed and can afford. We would urge anyone who is aware of illegal money lending activity to report the crime in confidence on 0300 555 2222."

– Tony Quigley, Head of the England Illegal Money Lending Team

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