Popular school drama Ackley Bridge features loan shark storyline

In episode two of the new series of Ackley Bridge, Missy (Poppy Lee Friar) found herself at the mercy of a loan shark when her mum’s boyfriend Craig left and took his television with him which he had purchased with assistance from the loan shark.

One scene showed loan shark Linda threatening Missy and her mum with a late payment fee and a week’s worth of interest if they failed to keep up with the repayments on Craig’s debt.

In lieu of payment, Missy was forced to work on loan shark Linda’s burger van to repay the debt. It transpired she wasn’t the only person working for Linda in these circumstances.

Channel 4’s Ackley Bridge shows the merger of two schools that causes numerous problems for headmistress Mandy who has to deal with explosive fall-outs and badly-behaved pupils.

What to do if you’re in a similar situation to Missy

The England Illegal Money Lending Team (IMLT) has supported victims who have been forced into crime and free labour by the loan shark to repay a debt or get a reduction on the loan.

Loan sharks often resort to the most callous methods to enforce their debts and victims are repeatedly intimidated and threatened with violence.

If you are in a similar situation to Missy and her family where you are repaying someone else’s debt or you have directly borrowed from a loan shark, help and support is available.

The IMLT investigates and prosecutes unauthorised money lenders and supports those affected by loan sharks.

Research shows an estimated 310,000 households nationally are borrowing from illegal money lenders, many of whom charge exorbitant rates of interest to trap people into a spiral of debt.

A loan shark is someone who lends money without the correct authorisation from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

You can check if a person is authorised to lend you money by searching the FCA’s Financial Services Register.

To report a loan shark, call the IMLT 24 hour confidential hotline on 0300 555 2222 or visit complete an online report form.

Missed last week’s episode of Ackley Bridge? You can catch up on All 4 here.