FENLANDER: Sid the Shark launches month of action against ‘loan sharks’ in Fenland

SID the Shark circled the Market Place in Wisbech last week to help launch a month of action against “loan sharks”, illegal moneylenders who prey on people in financial difficulties.

They are known to be operating in the town, exploiting vulnerable people. Those who borrow money from them have to pay extortionate rates of interest and are often threatened or bullied if they fall behind on their repayments.

Now Fenland District Council has joined forces with the National Illegal Money Lending Team, Trading Standards, the police, the Citizens Advice Bureau and other organisations in a concerted “Stop Loan Sharks” campaign.

They are holding a series of drop-in sessions during May in a bid to alert people to the dangers and help the victims.

They will be at Community House next Thursday from 11am-3pm and on May 21 from 11am-3pm, and at the Rosmini Centre on May 22 from 2-5pm. They will return to the Market Place again on May 31.

On May 25 the drama group from Thomas Clarkson Community College will put on a specially written play at the Oasis Centre.

The CrimeBUSter will also be involved, visiting Waterlees today and on May 28, the Clarkson ward next Wednesday and several villages on Monday and on May 31.

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Councillor David Oliver, FDC’s portfolio holder for community safety, said: “Times are tough and people are struggling financially, which is why it is vital to warn people to guard against these unscrupulous criminals.”

To report a loan shark in confidence, call the 24/7 hotline 0300 555 2222 or e-mail reportaloanshark@stoploansharks.gov.uk