Criminal cash handed to community centre in bid to combat loansharks

Criminal cash is being used to help boost a community.

Wednesday, 15th March 2017, 12:06 pm
Updated Friday, 24th March 2017, 10:03 am
Cath Williams (centre) from England Illegal Money Lending Team presents Denise Brooks (Shotton community centre manager) (left) and Heather Wake (senior employment and support officer East Durham Homes) with their trophy . Picture by FRANK REID

Shotton Colliery Community Centre been awarded £3,000 of proceeds of crime to spend on a project which will help raise further awareness of loansharks.

The centre, in Bridge Road, was awarded with money following Shotton Colliery’s ‘Bite Back’ Week back in September 2016.

In August 2016, local organisations within Shotton Colliery teamed up to organise a ‘bite back’ week of action against loansharks.

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The week of action, which took place in September, helped raise awareness of the dangers of getting involved with loansharks and helped signpost residents to their local credit union.

Organisations were concerned that loansharks were preying on vulnerable members of the Shotton Colliery community, so they teamed up with the England Illegal Money Lending Team (IMLT) to combat the issue.

The campaign saw 66 new members join NE First Credit Union and saved for the required period of 10 weeks. All members were later rewarded with a £25 savings boost for their effort. This credit incentive was funded by the England Illegal Money Lending Team, using proceeds of crime money, confiscated from convicted loansharks.

Tony Quigley, head of service for the England Illegal Money Lending Team said: “Loansharks are a scourge on society and cause harm and misery to their victims. If you or someone you know has been a victim of a loan shark, we urge you to get in touch with IMLT on 0300 5552222.”