Race Against Crime
Representatives from the Safer Stockport Partnership (SSP) raced each other in a fun run in Brinnington to highlight the illegal activities of ‘loan sharks.’
The family-friendly community event involved a race between people dressed as a Police panda and a loan shark. The event helped to remind Brinnington residents that there is support available for those who are being victimised by loan sharks.
The event was also an opportunity to show that SSP and the England Illegal Money Lending Team are working together to target loan sharks.
This event followed extensive community work carried out in Stockport by the SSP and the England Illegal Money Lending Team and was funded by money acquired through seizures of property from criminals under the Proceeds of Crime Act earlier this year.
This work has included:
- Banners on community buildings encouraging residents to report loan shark activity
- Training for employees and members of the public to help them identify loan shark activities and report them
- Posters and leaflets in community buildings which raised awareness of the kinds of criminal activity connected with illegal money lending
- Working with schools to help young people start saving with credit union accounts to help financially secure their futures
Councillor Mark Weldon, Executive Member for Supporting Communities at Stockport Council, said: “Loan sharks prey on some of the most vulnerable residents in the community. We are committed through the SSP to highlighting the dangers of loan sharks and ensuring residents are protected from their illegal activities.”
PC Karla Fox from the Stockport North Neighbourhood Policing Team added: “The event was a great way of reminding people how committed we are to bringing an end to the misery caused by loan sharks. As well as acting in a fearful and intimidating manner, loan sharks often use the money they make to fund further criminal activity and we are determined to put a stop to this.”
Tony Quigley Head of the England Illegal Money Lending Team said: “Illegal money lenders are a scourge on our communities. These criminals are motivated by greed and have been known to use the worst kinds of bully tactics to force people to pay back over the odds. We would urge anyone who is the victim of an illegal lender to call us in confidence on 0300 555 2222. Calls are answered by a trained investigator 24/7”