The England Illegal Money Lending Team (IMLT) have released an impactful new video, which aims to bring awareness to the issue of how parents are affected by loan sharks. The short dramatic video, produced by Birmingham-based Voiceboxx: The Agency, shows the devastating effect of illegal money lending, and is part of a larger campaign to raise awareness of the rights of victims, and the help available to them.
The video is now available to view on YouTube
Councillor Barbara Dring, Chairman of the Licensing and Public Protection Committee at Birmingham City Council, which oversees the England Illegal Money Lending Team, comments: “Loan sharks are a scourge on our communities and cause great harm with their illegal activities, more so because they tell their victims that they are helping them when actually, they are exploiting them financially.”
“Money confiscated from illegal money lenders has helped fund this project which aims to really hit home the dangers of borrowing from loan sharks. We hope this campaign helps anyone affected by illegal money lending to come forward and report.”
Research from 2017 Witness Statistics Report shows that 50% of victims supported by the IMLT were parents with an average of two children per family, and worryingly, 43% of victims went without food, fuel or missed rent or mortgage payments in order to repay the loan shark.
The impact of illegal money lending is immense, with 32% of victims asked said that they had considered committing suicide and 25% of those with suicidal thoughts said it was due to their involvement with a loan shark.
Tony Quigley, Head of Service for the Illegal Money Lending Team added; “There are many misconceptions surrounding illegal money lending, in particular the ‘sort’ of people targeted and exploited by loan sharks. We hope this new video will help to dispel some of those myths and encourage anyone affected by illegal money lending to get in touch, so we can help.
“We have secured more than 380 prosecutions for illegal money lending and related activity, leading to nearly 329 years’ worth of custodial sentences. We have written off £73.7 million worth of illegal debt and helped over 28,000 people.
“The message is clear; you are not in trouble if you have borrowed cash or have been paying back a loan from an illegal money lender, the loan shark is. They are the people committing a crime, not you.”
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To report a loan shark call the 24/7 confidential hotline on 0300 555 2222 or text a report to 078600 22116.