Intimidating loan sharks on our streets warn police

By Harriet Ernstsons Friday 07 March 2014 Updated: 07/03 09:47

LOAN sharks are likely to be operating in Redditch, police have warned.

Speaking at a Redditch Area Forum organised by county councillors, district inspector Ian Joseph said the illegal money lending team had been involved recently in an operation in Bromsgrove so, whilst not much was known about the problem in Redditch, it was likely to be an issue in the borough.

He added police and others had attended training organised by the borough’s community safety team which used real-life testimonies to explain the impact on victims. Having taken place at Redditch Police Station, similar training is now going to happen in Bromsgrove and potentially in other parts of Worcestershire as well as in schools.

“The more people in our communities understand loan sharks are operating, that they can have an impact on communities and there are ways they can be investigated, the better,” he said.

“Loan sharks operate through intimidation, through coercion and they take over the victim’s life in so many different ways.

“Do we know much about it? Probably not. Victims are often not prepared to come forward, they might be embarrassed, scared or frightened of the offenders.”

He added protection was available for victims who testified in court and police were also able to get information from people like councils and housing providers.

Anyone wanting to report a loan shark should call 0300 555 2222.

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