Crack team forms to bite back at loan sharks

Signing of the 'stop loans sharks charter' in Shotton Colliery on Monday, l-r Durham County Councillor eunice Huntington, Police & Crime Commissioner Ron Hogg, David Snowdon Development Offiucer Durham Credit union, Paul Mains East Durham Homes and Asst. Chief Constable Dave Orford

Signing of the 'stop loans sharks charter' in Shotton Colliery on Monday, l-r Durham County Councillor eunice Huntington, Police & Crime Commissioner Ron Hogg, David Snowdon Development Offiucer Durham Credit union, Paul Mains East Durham Homes and Asst. Chief Constable Dave Orford

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A CAMPAIGN is biting back at the loan sharks who make lives a misery.

Durham Police has joined forces with Durham County Council and the national Illegal Money Lending Team, as it signed up to the Stopping Loan Sharks charter in Shotton Colliery.

The document signalled the start of a week of action, to encourage people to turn away from loan sharks and report the crime.

Detective Inspector Lyn Peart, from the force’s Specialist Crime Operations Unit, said: “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 including threats, violence and intimidation.”

A range of activities and events will run in Shotton this week.

Leaflets with hotline numbers for reporting loan sharks will be handed out to parents at the gates of Shotton and Our Lady of Lourdes primary schools. Information and advice will be offered at a mother and toddler group at Shotton Community Centre tomorrow between 9.30am and 11.30am.

Home Housing will host a drop in session at Shotton Community Centre between 10am and noon on Thursday.

The illegal money lending team will give a presentation on the dangers of loan sharks at the Police and Communities Together meeting held at Shotton Community Centre between 6pm and 7pm tomorrow.

Advice will be offered during the OAP lunch club held at Shotton Community Centre on Friday between 11am and 1pm. The team will attend the festival held at the community centre on Saturday.