Koast Radio Awarded Loan Shark Cash

Cash confiscated from convicted loan sharks has been awarded to a community radio station based in Ashington.

Koast Radio, who broadcast online across South-East Northumberland, have been awarded with their full bid of £1,675. Their project will help raise awareness of the dangers of borrowing from loan sharks through a targeted radio, social media and publicity campaign.

The project, called ‘Shark Free Koast’, will consist of a 6 week campaign run via Koast Radio to help encourage the reporting of loan sharks. The project will educate listeners on what a loan shark is, how to report one and the dangers connected to borrowing money from one.

The England Illegal Money Lending Team released multiple pots of £5000 of Proceeds of Crime Money, to help fund projects across the country that assist in raising awareness of the team and loan sharks. This funding comes from cash, which has been confiscated from convicted loan sharks through the Proceeds of Crime Act.

Ian Conway, Director at Koast Radio comments:

“Koast Radio, a local community radio station for Ashington and South East Northumberland is delighted to be working closely with the Illegal Money Lending Team on the “Shark Free Koast” campaign to raise awareness of the serious problems caused by illegal money lending and the impact it has on the local community.

“We know that this time of year can be an expensive time for families, so our campaign which will launch in the run up to Christmas, will make people aware of the dangers in borrowing from loan sharks. We encourage listeners to come forward and report a loan shark if they have been a victim, so we can all enjoy a “Shark Free Koast”. We are also working with local organisations to provide people with good quality money advice and direct them to organisations offering alternative forms of affordable credit”

Tony Quigley, Head of Service for The Illegal Money Lending Team comments:

“I’d like to thank everyone who submitted a bid for IMLT’s National POCA funding scheme. This year, we received some brilliant project proposals, which will help us spread the message that loan sharks will not be tolerated and help and support is available to people who have borrowed from them.

“Loan sharks are a scourge on our local communities and cause great misery to victims, but we will continue to tackle them in Northumberland and across the country.

“We would always urge victims of illegal money lenders to seek help by contacting us in confidence on 0300 555 2222”

Nationally, Illegal Money Lending Teams have secured more than 354 prosecutions for illegal money lending and related activity, leading to nearly 298 years’ worth of custodial sentences. They have written off £71.75 million worth of illegal debt and helped over 26,000 people

To report a loan shark:

Call the 24/7 confidential hotline 0300 555 2222

Text a report to 07860 022 116

E-mail reportaloanshark@stoploansharks.gov.uk

Private message us on www.facebook.com/stoploansharksproject