Shadsworth residents to make their big debut at Landsharks film premiere next week

Blackburn residents are invited to the premiere of new film ‘Landsharks’ next week (Thursday 5 April).

‘Landsharks’ is a short 15 minute film which raises awareness of the dangers of loan sharks and features residents from Shadsworth.

Landsharks follows the life of a young teenage boy called AJ whose mum is struggling to make ends meet.

The film shows AJ falling in with the wrong crowd and turning to a loan shark for money.

The Illegal Money Lending Team (IMLT) worked with Blackburn with Darwen Council, Great Places Housing Group, Newground and Blackburn Filmmaker Aaron Dunleavy to create the film.

Tony Quigley, Head of the Illegal Money Lending Team, said:

“We would like to thank our partners and the talented residents from Shadsworth for producing this film to raise awareness of the issue of loan sharks.

“Landsharks shows the detrimental impact that loan sharks can have on the lives of their victims and helps to reinforce our message that these unscrupulous lenders should be avoided at all costs.

“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 film premiere for ‘Landsharks’ is set to take place on Thursday 5 April at The Bureau Centre for Arts, Victoria Street, BB1 6DW.

The event, which will run from 12pm until 2pm, will include a screening of ‘Landsharks’ for adults and a free shark-themed art and craft session for children. Due to the theme of this short film, it will not be shown to children under the age of 13.

Guests will have the opportunity to get debt and financial advice at the event.

Louise Ramsay, Community Development Coordinator at Great Places Housing Group, said:

“Great Places is proud to be involved in this project, which draws attention to the real dangers of illegal money lending and the impact that loan sharks can have on the lives of real families.

“We hope that through taking a creative approach, the film’s powerful message will encourage people to learn more about this issue, report those operating illegally, and make use of the fantastic resources available that offer safe and affordable loans, such as local credit unions.”

To book your free tickets to this event, email louise.ramsay@greatplaces.org.uk or register on Eventbrite www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/land-shark-film-tickets-43968674489

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.

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

Although there are no exact figures to prove how many loan sharks are operating in Blackburn, the IMLT estimates that more than seven hundred million pounds is going through loan sharks’ books every year nationally.

Professor Dominic Harrison, Director of Public Health at Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council, said:

“I really welcome this film and I am delighted it has been made in Blackburn. The recent report from the Royal Society of Public Health shows the strong interconnections between poor mental health and debt. The RSPH report echoes the advice given in this film – borrowing money from loan sharks and Payday loan companies appear most likely to pose a risk to mental wellbeing. The more informed we all are about the risks and benefits of different kinds of loans the better”

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 written off £73.7 million worth of illegal debt and 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