Sefton Council has been working with the England Illegal Money Lending Team, and a number of partner organisations to raise awareness of the illegal activity of loan sharks.
A charter has been signed by Merseyside Police, local Councillors, local businesses, schools, and health providers during a special assembly at The Grange Primary School, Netherton.
This multi-agency initiative enables different agencies to work more closely together to identify and prosecute loan sharks, and forms part of a national Loan Shark Awareness week from 30 November.
As part of the campaign, the life-sized character Sharky will be handing out information and encouraging members of the public to come forward to report any issues or seek help.
Councillor Trish Hardy, Cabinet Member for Communities, said: “The Council is fully committed to highlighting the issue of loan sharks so that we can tackle those responsible.
“By working with a number of other organisations, we can make sure that our resources are more effectively targeted to help victims or anyone affected by this illegal activity.”
England illegal money lending team Head of Service, Tony Quigley said: “We’re pleased to be working with partners in Sefton and doing what we can to support victims.
“If you spot a loan shark or you’ve borrowed money from one you can report them anonymously on 0300 555 2222.
“It is only by coming forward to report these incidents that we can try to work with partners to stop it, as we don’t want any other residents in Sefton to become a victim of loan sharks. ”
To report an issue or seek support if you’ve been affected by loan sharks you can call 0300 555 2222 (24-hour service) or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can also search the Financial Services Register for companies and individuals authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority www.fca.org.uk
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