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Woman arrested on the Wirral on suspicion of being a loan shark

A 31-year-old woman has been arrested on the Wirral on suspicion of illegal money lending.

The England Illegal Money Lending Team (IMLT) worked in partnership with officers from Merseyside Police to execute a warrant at an address in the Leasowe area on January 16, 2024.

Officers seized documents and electronic devices. The suspect was taken into custody and questioned by IMLT investigators. She is now helping with inquiries.

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

Tony Quigley, head of the Illegal Money Lending Team, said: “The Stop Loan Sharks team works with police and other partners in communities across England to gather intelligence and take action against illegal money lenders.

“These lenders take advantage of some of the most vulnerable people in society and we understand that it can be difficult for anyone who might be in the grip of an illegal lender to come forward.

“We want to reassure people that they can contact us at any time in complete confidence, and we will do everything we can to support them.”

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).

The warning signs of an illegal lender include:

  • Being given no paperwork or agreement on a loan
  • Refusing to give you information about the loan
  • Keeping items until the debt is paid such as your bank card or passport
  • Taking things from you if you don’t pay on time
  • Adding more interest or charges so the debt never goes down
  • Using intimidation or violence if you don’t pay

Anyone with concerns about illegal money lending can contact the Stop Loan Sharks 24/7 Helpline in confidence on 0300 555 2222 or access support online at www.stoploansharks.co.uk. Live Chat is available on the website between 9am and 5pm, Monday to Friday.