Don’t get punked by loan sharks!

As the Christmas period approaches, many families find themselves in need of extra cash for presents, food and festivities. Sadly though, some people have to face the  devastating impact that loan sharks can have on the lives of their victims and far from helping at Christmas, the situation deteriorates.

More than 310,000 households in the UK are currently using illegal money lenders. Loan sharks destroy lives and can push victims to the brink of suicide due to the extreme misery they cause.

Now however, a unique project funded by proceeds of crime money has created a radio show and a punk song to help get the message across that help is available.

Radio Northumberland will be premiering the one hour show on Monday 17th December at 5pm which features talented singer songwriter Peter Leithead (Peesh) from Ashington Northumberland and creative poet Beverley Warner (Cherry B) from Harlow in Essex.

The unlikely pair met on a TyneIdols punk tour of Newcastle hosted by punk music presenter Keith Newman whose show New Wave With Newman is one of the station’s flagship productions. Since discovering that their unique style of acoustic punk and poetry has a market amongst people of all ages, the pair have played all across the UK and featured in many festivals including the famous “Rebellion Punk Festival” in Blackpool.

The song penned by Cherry and Peesh entitled “Loan Shark” gives out the message that there are alternatives to using loan sharks and that help is always available when needed.

Cherry said, “We are so pleased to be able to help get this message out. There are so many people struggling with money these days and we want to warn them not to fall into the trap of loan sharks. There’s always an alternative like credit unions who can offer help and support.”

Peesh added: “ This song sounds very up beat but it has a very serious message. It was easy to write as we both believe in what it stands for.”

Loan sharks operate illegally, without the correct permissions from the Financial Conduct Authority. These criminals usually appear friendly at first but quickly trap their borrowers into spiralling debt. As the debts can’t legally be enforced many lenders will resort to the most extreme and callous methods to enforce repayment.

Tony Quigley, Head of Service for the Illegal Money Lending Team, said: “This project with Radio Northumberland will reach a lot of the people all over the country.  It’s a great song with an important message and it’s extremely catchy too so it will stick in people’s heads.

“We would urge anyone who is involved with a loan shark to call us in confidence on 0300 555 2222. For more information and to report a loan shark online, visit www.stoploansharks.uk”

The Show will air at 5pm on Monday 17 Dec on www.radionorthumberland.com

Nationally, Illegal Money Lending Teams have secured more than 380 prosecutions for illegal money lending and related activity, leading to nearly 329 years’ worth of custodial sentences. They have helped over 28,000 people.

To report a loan shark:

Call the 24/7 confidential hotline 0300 555 2222

Text a report to 078600 22116

Visit the website www.stoploansharks.co.uk

E-mail reportaloanshark@stoploansharks.gov.uk 

Private message us on www.facebook.com/stoploansharksproject

For media information contact Keith Newman on keith@highlightspr.co.uk 07814 397951