Keighley woman arrested on suspicion of being a loan shark

A 30-year-old woman was arrested on suspicion of illegal money lending following an operation in Keighley.

The England Illegal Money Lending Team (IMLT) worked in partnership with officers from West Yorkshire Police to execute a warrant at an address in the Long Lee area on Wednesday, July 3. Officers seized an electronic device and the suspect was taken into custody to be questioned by IMLT investigators.

The IMLT works in partnership with West Yorkshire Trading Standards to investigate and prosecute illegal money lenders.

Tony Quigley, head of the IMLT, said: “We work with our partners to take action against those who blight our communities by acting as illegal money lenders and preying on the most vulnerable.

“If you have been offered a loan, threatened when you couldn’t pay, had your bank card taken from you as security or if what you owe keeps growing even though you are making payments, then you may well have been targeted by an illegal lender.

“If you, or anyone you know, has experienced any of these things then contact our team in complete confidence.”

There are up to 1.08 million people in debt to loan sharks in England, according to figures from the Centre for Social Justice (CSJ).

This year marks the 20th anniversary of the IMLT. Since its launch, the team has supported over 31,700 people and written off over £91.3 million worth of illegal debt, securing over 420 prosecutions for illegal money lending, leading to over 600 years in jail.

Anyone who has been affected by illegal money lending should call the Stop Loan Sharks 24/7 confidential helpline on 0300 555 2222 or access support online at www.stoploansharks.co.uk. Live Chat is available on the website from 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday.