The England Illegal Money Lending Team’s national mascot ‘Sid the Shark’ will be visiting Chatham High Street on Thursday, July 25 between 10am and 2pm to raise awareness of the dangers of using loan sharks.
Officers from the team, in conjunction with Medway Trading Standards and Medway Community Safety Partnership will be on hand to speak to local residents about illegal money lending and promote the help available to victims.
There will also be information about alternative safer forms of lending such as credit unions.
Tony Quigley, Head of the Illegal Money Lending Team, said: “Loan sharks are notorious for targeting people when they are at their most desperate – exploiting and profiting from their situation, and threatening and intimidating victims.
“We would like to reassure victims they are not alone and that a wide range of help and support is available in Medway to anyone affected by a loan shark.”
Money confiscated from convicted loan sharks will also be used to back new credit union accounts in Medway.
The first 50 people to join Medway Credit Union and make regular payments into their account will qualify for a savings boost of £25.
Nationally, the Illegal Money Lending Teams have secured more than 394 prosecutions for illegal money lending and related activity, leading to almost 480 years of custodial sentences.
They have written off £74.9 million worth of illegal debt and helped more than 29,000 victims.
To report a loan shark call the 24/7 helpline on 0300 555 2222, text a report to 078600 22116 or complete a secure form here.