A campaign to clamp down on loan sharks and illegal money lending has been launched in Pontefract.
The England Illegal Money Lending Team, West Yorkshire Trading Standards and the police have teamed up to raise awareness of the dangers of loan sharks.
The campaign launched with a presentation at Pontefract Town Hall on Tuesday and officials will be visiting residents across the town this week.
David Lodge, divisional manager at West Yorkshire Trading Standards, said: “This week is part of our important ongoing campaign to encourage the public to steer clear of criminals who blight our communities.
“We are working closely with the England Illegal Money Lending Team to eradicate loan sharks in West Yorkshire and would urge anyone with information to come forward so action can be taken.”
The England Illegal Money Lending Team estimate that more than 300,000 households across the country are in debt to a loan shark. Chris Joyce, crime prevention officer at West Yorkshire Police, said: “Loan sharks intimidate and threaten some of the most vulnerable people in our society.
“This is something we will not tolerate and through our work with the Illegal Money Lending Team we will continue to raise awareness of these unscrupulous individuals.”
If you think you have been the victim of a loan shark or wish to report illegal money lending, call the Report a Loan Shark hotline on 0300 555 2222.
You can also text ‘loan shark’ and your message to 60003 or email firstname.lastname@example.org