Supporting the police
The England Illegal Money Lending Team, also known as Stop Loan Sharks, are the only organisation in the UK who have the power to investigate and prosecute illegal money lenders.
We work with all police departments across England, delivering information about illegal lenders and the legislation that is involved. We look at ways of raising awareness through partnership working which helps keep communities safe.
We understand that illegal money lending can be seen as a civil matter by police forces. In fact it is a criminal offence and one that often has other criminal activity attached to it such as blackmail, assault, fraud, and sometimes instances of threats to kill, kidnap and rape. Our team find drugs, firearms and counterfeit goods when raiding suspected properties.
Our team is comprised of specialist investigators and Liaise Officers. Together we support people who have borrowed cash from loan sharks while aiming to bring the offender to justice. As investigators we have comprehensive Trading Standards powers including the power of entry and inspection of suspected loan sharks premises.
We work with police teams across the UK to gather, share and corroborate intelligence in order to co-ordinate operations and raids. We have the power to seize anything that may be required as evidence in court. This includes documents, weapons, books, mobile phones and computers. Our team also includes seconded Police Officers who have the power to seize cash or drugs. Our officers are fully PACE trained and will interview the suspect at the local police station.
We also have a responsibility to those communities at risk from loan sharks, and the wider general public, to raise awareness of illegal money lenders.
Our team can deliver the following to any police organisation, completely free of charge:
- Officer input sessions to raise awareness of illegal lenders and legislation
- One to one support for people who are illegally borrowing
- Publicity material
- Certificates and evidence of training
- Campaign partner sessions/joint campaigns
- Text for e-learning
- ‘Loan shark proofing’ policies and procedures
- Stop Loan Sharks screen savers
We can develop bespoke community safety projects and campaigns with you. For more information on how we can work with you, email us on David.A.Benbow@birmingham.gov.uk or call 07557 203257.
Encouraging people to report illegal money lending
Stop Loan Sharks needs intelligence to successfully investigate and prosecute loan sharks. We understand that people who borrow cash from illegal lenders may be struggling with repayments and scared of threats and violence. The police when dealing with a member of the public are often in a position to gain the information we need to start investigating a loan shark.
How to report a loan shark on behalf of a person
Lending money without authorisation from the Financial Conduct Authority is a criminal offence. Stop Loan Sharks have the powers to investigate and prosecute loan sharks.
If someone reports a potential offence to you, you can pass this information across to us through our online reporting form. You can also email a 5x5x5 to us at firstname.lastname@example.org or through a secure GCSX email address. Call us on 0300 555 2222 for more details.