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Enfield wins national stop loan sharks award

Published Friday, 13 September 2013

Enfield Council has won a National Stop Loan Sharks Award in recognition of the work it has been doing to stop illegal money lenders in their tracks.

The Council won the London Regional Award from the England Illegal Money Lending Team in August and was nominated for the national award – decided by a public vote - in recognition of the work its Trading Standards officers have been doing to raise awareness of the issue and help the people affected by illegal money lenders find the help and support they need.

Then on Monday 2 September came the news that Enfield had beaten off stiff opposition from other projects around the UK and won the national prize. The council were chosen in an online public vote and will receive £1000 worth of proceeds of crime money taken from convicted loan sharks, to fund further awareness raising.

Enfield Council has worked tirelessly to bring together organisations such as the police, Citizen's Advice Bureau, housing providers and the Department for Work and Pensions to make sure that residents can seek help from a wide range of partners.
Enfield Council's Cabinet Member for Environment, Cllr Chris Bond, said: “Enfield Council has made tackling illegal money lending a major priority in order to protect our most vulnerable residents and I’m delighted those efforts have been recognised and we have won this prestigious national award.

"Our Trading Standards officers have demonstrated enormous hard work and dedication in helping to prevent Illegal Loan Sharks from spreading their pervasive influence in our borough.
"Sadly the present financial situation means that more and more people are tempted to borrow from loan sharks to make ends meet, we're trying to demonstrate that borrowing money from a loan shark is never a good idea and can have unexpected and unpleasant long term consequences.

"If you need to report a loan shark or would like confidential advice from the Illegal Money Lending Team ring 0300 555 2222.”

Tony Quigley, Head of the England Illegal Money Lending Team said “The public chose Enfield Trading Standards as the National winner, for the extensive work they have done to highlight this issue and encourage loan shark victims to come forward.

"After attending training sessions with us, Trading Standards officers had a valuable understanding of what a loan shark is. They arranged a further 34 meetings and training sessions to ensure everyone working at the heart of the community in Enfield is able to support and signpost victims.

"Trading Standards actively promoted the dangers of loan sharks at events including Edmonton Carnival, Enfield Town Show and the ‘Your Choice Event’ held at the Civic Offices in which proceeds of crime money taken from convicted loan sharks was used to fund local projects.

"We’d like to thank all the partner agencies who have worked with us over the past year- We received some fantastic entries from organisations across the country who are all making a real difference in communities to help us stamp out this horrendous crime, and we will continue to work with these organisations to bring loan sharks to justice in the future.”

Lord Toby Harris Chair of the National Trading Standards Board said “It is a privilege to be able to support such an established and successful project as the England Illegal Money Lending Team- they are delivering the right results day in and day out. They go far beyond, their aim to put loan sharks behind bars and truly impact on the lives of so many people.”
Notes to editors
A Loan Shark is someone who lends money without the appropriate licence issued by the Office of Fair Trading. Loan Sharks rarely, if ever, give any paperwork and if payments are missed they often use intimidation and violence to get money from their 'clients'.

The Illegal Money Lending Team is here to help. If you have any information, however small, on loan shark activities we can help.

Have you been offered a cash loan?
Have you been threatened when you couldn't pay?
Has your bank card been taken from you as a security?
Does what you owe keep growing even though you are making payments?

If you can answer yes to any of the above then you may have been bitten by a loan shark. If you, or anyone you know, is experiencing any of the above or has any knowledge of loan shark activities then contact our team In Confidence

To report a loan shark:
Call the 24/7 confidential hotline 0300 555 2222
Text ‘loan shark + your message’ to 60003
E-mail  or Private message us on facebook

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