300 hear of loan shark danger in Telford
An information day has been held in Telford to warn young people about the danger of loan sharks.
More than 300 people attended the event, which raised awareness about illegal money lending.
Held at the Whitehouse Hotel, it was attended by more than 150 students from Telford College of Arts and Technology.
It aimed to highlight the dangers of getting caught up in illegal money-lending and comes amid increasing concerns about the effects of debt among young people as they continue through their studies or embark on a career.
The event included a drama production called It's Only A Few Quid by the Shontal Theatre Group, and a question and answer session with the England Illegal Money Lending Team.
It was jointly organised by the Stop Loan Sharks organisation, and Telford & Wrekin Citizen's Advice, with opening remarks from Telford & Wrekin councillor Lee Carter, cabinet member for finance.
Tony Quigley, head of service for the National Illegal Money Lending Team, said: "This event demonstrates how loan sharks' cash is being put to good use to educate the community and different age groups on the dangers of loan sharks. We will continue to work to combat loan sharks. They can cause untold misery to the most disadvantaged in our communities."
Ben Gamble, of Telford College of Arts and Technology (TCAT) said the college was delighted to be invited.
He said: "We're always keen to help inform our students about important issues which they face with money these days.
"The hard-hitting and thought provoking play It's Only a Few Quid looked at the hardship faced by the young mother who encountered the attentions of a loan shark."
Illegal lending teams:
Nationally, Illegal Money Lending Teams have secured more than 370 prosecutions for illegal money lending and related activity.
This has led to nearly 318 years worth of custodial sentences.
They have written off £71.9 million worth of illegal debt and helped over 26,500 people.
The Illegal Money Lending Teams in England and Wales work in partnership with local Trading Standards Authorities in their related countries.
To report a loan shark call the 24/7 confidential hotline 0300 555 2222; text a report to 078600 22116, or visit stoploansharks.co.uk