Project launched to stop Wisbech families being bitten by loan sharks

‘JAWS’ was hunting down his latest prey at the Boathouse in Wisbech this week as a project was launched to stop families from being bitten by loan sharks.

The Financial Wellbeing project is the result of Cambridgeshire’s Child Poverty Strategy, which brings organisations together to break the cycle of child poverty across the county.

A number of initiatives are planned by the team, which includes representatives from Cambridgeshire Trading Standards, Fenland District Council, police and the England Illegal Money Lending Team.

In the past the team has secured convictions for drugs offences, blackmail, violence, rape and other offences linked to illegal money lending. They have already secured more than 190 prosecutions which have led to 117 years worth of prison sentences, written off almost �40million worth of illegal debt and helped over 16,000 victims.

Councillor Mathew Shuter, the county council’s Cabinet member responsible for Trading Standards, said: “The Child Poverty Strategy is bringing together organisations to help families break the cycle of poverty across Cambridgeshire.

“I am really pleased that this work is being supported by the Illegal Money Lending Team who will ensure that loan sharks cannot prey on vulnerable families in Cambridgeshire.”

Tony Quigley, Head of the England Illegal Money Lending Team, said: “Illegal lenders not only rip people off with extortionate rates of interest but resort to the most despicable methods to enforce their debts. We are sending out a clear message in Cambridgeshire that this will not be tolerated.

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“We would urge anyone affected by illegal money lending to call our confidential hotline on 0300 555 2222 as we can help.”

• To report a loan shark call the 24/7 confidential hotline 0300 555 2222, text loan shark followed by your message to 60003 or e-mail

Alternatively, visit or find the project on Facebook via