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Lincolnshire Partnership is one of five in UK to win top award

Posted on 11th January, 2016 by Lincoln Against Poverty

The Lincolnshire Financial Partnership (FIP) received the annual Stop Loan Shark award due to their outstanding endeavours in raising awareness of crime and illegal money lending. Only five agencies nationwide have received this highly commended award.

The annual Stop Loan Sharks awards, took place for the third time to recognise those who have made a valuable contribution to highlighting the dangers of loan sharks in their communities.

The partnership has helped the IMLT access agencies and communities across Lincolnshire. This has led to a large number of staff receiving training on how to spot and help the victim of a loan shark, community events promoting the stop loan sharks message and publicity and communication around the work of the IMLT. The FIP also promoted lesson plans developed by the IMLT to educate schoolchildren about money matters and the dangers of loan sharks, ensuring a good take up across the county.

John Eames, CEO of Lincolnshire Credit Union, said: “We believe that everyone should be entitled to affordable credit from a responsible lender. We are proud to be associated with the stop loans shark campaign together with our partners in the FIP.”

Lorraine Palmer, Joint Chair of the Financial Inclusion Partnership, said: “The members of the Lincolnshire Financial Inclusion Partnership are delighted to receive this award. The work done by the England Illegal Money Lending Team is crucial in the battle against Loan Sharks and through the wider reach of our partners, we have been able to work together to raise awareness of the Stop Loansharks message across the county.”

Tony Quigley Head of the England Illegal Money Lending Team, “All of the submissions we received were worthy of an award but The Lincolnshire Financial inclusion Partnership received their commendation because of their ongoing dedication to help fight loan sharks.

“Loan sharks cause nothing but misery in our communities, using the most callous methods to force people into paying back far and above what they have borrowed and can afford. The FIP have shown a real commitment to highlighting this issue in the local community and with their support and that of other key agencies, we are sending a clear message that this crime will not be tolerated. If you have been the victim of a loan shark, please report them in confidence on 0300 555 2222.”

Nationally, Illegal Money Lending Teams have secured more than 332 prosecutions for illegal money lending and related activity, leading to nearly 212 years-worth of custodial sentences. They have written off over £63 million worth of illegal debt and helped over 26,000 people.