Stop Loan Sharks - Northumberland CVA

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Natalie Barker, LIAISE Officer
The Illegal Money Lending Team
Welcome to your session
Please complete the loan shark quiz in front
of you before we start
Are you on Social Media?
 Please follow us on Facebook we are Stop Loan Sharks
Project
 And on Twitter @loansharknews
2
An Introduction
Introductions
Please share
 Your name
 The organisation you represent
 Your role
 What would you like to find out today?
 One word to describe a SHARK
What is a Loan Shark?
 A loan shark is someone who lends money without the
correct permissions under Section 19 and 23 of the
Financial Service and Markets Act
 These licences are issued by Financial Conduct
Authority
 It is a criminal offence and carries a maximum
sentence of two years in prison.
 Who enforces this legislation?
England
Illegal Money Lending Team
 Set up in 2004 as a pilot project
 Hosted by Birmingham City Council
 Employs 70 members of staff
 Two distinct functions Investigators and
LIAISE Officers
 Agile workers across England
Liaise Officer’s Role
 Awareness – Linking in with local authorities current
safer community strategies and influencing senior
policy makers
 Intelligence – Gathering intel, liasion with police and
other intel agencies
 Support – providing victims with a 1:1 support
mechanism right up to court hearing
 Education – working with local communities to
highlight the dangers of loan sharks, training, talks
etc
The Enforcement side
 Prosecute Loan Sharks
 Manage the hotline 24/7 0300 555 2222
 All Investigators are from Police, fraud, Trading
Standards and customs backgrounds
 Two seconded Police Officers
 Two financial investigators who use the Proceeds of
Crime Act (POCA)
 An Intelligence Cell
 Legal Team
Shark Characteristics
 Feared
 Work alone
 Predatory
 Confident swimmers
 Pick on the smallest, weakest fish
 Feared by all
 Circle their prey before attacking
 Abundant in warm waters
 Extremely sensitive sense of smell and hearing...
2.4
Loan Shark trends
 No licence
 No paperwork - “you owe me this much”
 No receipts for payment
 Violence, intimidation and blackmail if
repayments are missed
 Loans to anyone (under 18’s included)
 Take cash cards and other securities
 Rarely advertise, find clients by word of mouth
 Repayments of at least twice the original amount,
often with high charges for defaulting
Loan Shark behaviours
 Building a client list through social networking
(Facebook and Twitter) – the pub, schools gates, taxi
rank...
 Can be claiming benefits whilst making a lot of money
 Frequently not paying any tax on their income
 Often involved in other criminality, and interest fuels
capital for this
 Loan Sharks are getting smarter – no longer just a
scrap of paper or exercise book but well-hidden
memory sticks...
Friend, mate, pal... Loan Shark?
“Other” charges
Money laundering, Drug possession, Intent to supply drugs,
Possession of other people's property (passports),Possession
of firearms/prohibited weapon, Affray, Criminal damage,
Blackmail, Perverting the course of justice, Fraud - benefit
Fraud and false representation, Acquiring criminal property,
Concealing criminal property, Possession of counterfeit
goods, Intent to supply counterfeit goods (DVDs, clothes
and cigarettes), Deception, Rape, Kidnap and Assault
The Myths
 Unlicensed money-lending is not illegal;
It is – you must have a Consumer Credit Licence from the
OFT
 If you borrow from a loan shark you are breaking the law;
Not true! It is the loan shark who is breaking the law…
 You have to pay back what the loan shark says you owe;
Not true! – a loan made by someone without a licence is
unenforceable
The Myths
 It’s a victimless crime;
Not true! Threats, bullying, intimidation – loan
sharks will use force. Victims can also get involved
in petty crime to pay back their loan
 Loan Sharks are offering a reasonably priced
service to people who need it;
False! On average, a Loan Shark charges three
times the cost as a legal money lender. Interest
rates of between 8,000% and 131,000% have been
uncovered…
Joaqim Boal - Hartlepool
 Intelligence via partner agency following a
month of action in area
 Victims were his colleagues working as Chef’s
and Cleaners in local restaurants.
 Pleaded guilty – Illegal Money Lending,
Blackmail, assault with an offensive weapon
 Sentenced to 28 months in prison
Desmond Cross
 Sentence in January 2015
partner and collector
along with
Belinda
Hughes
 18 Months suspended sentence and 3 month curfew.
Co defendants will also have to do 80 hours unpaid
work
 Lent £30,000 to 83 customer £18,000 outstanding at
time of arrest
 Operated in Country Durham had million pound
Company which he took £7K from to start loan
business
Loan Shark profile
 Of our prosecutions, 80% male, 20% female
 The friend of a friend “pay me back
whenever”
 The work colleague
 The rented debt
 The debt that is passed on
 The cage fighter
 The 80 year old woman
Who is affected?
 Estimated
310,000 UK households using
illegal money lending
 This equates to 12% of households in the
most deprived areas
 Convert households to people and that is
about 732,000 men, women and children
living in the shadow of loan sharks
 People repay £700 million per year to loan
sharks
IMLT achievements to date
 Over 329 prosecutions
 Over 26,000 victims have been helped
 Over £64 million illegal “debt” wiped
out
 Over £27 million worth of assets being
investigated
 Prison sentences totalling 206 years for
illegal money lending and associated
crimes (plus Indeterminate Sentence for
Public Protection)
Quiz Answers!
 Loan Sharks are illegal because...

They don’t have a licence
 Loan Sharks are prosecuted by...

Trading Standards
 If you take out a loan with a loan shark you must pay it back...

False
 You have to give evidence in court...

False (unless you are giving a statement, rather than info)
 The highest rate of interest...

131,000 % !!
Information and Intelligence
The scientific part
 Information is the passing of knowledge from one
source to another
 Intelligence is the end product of a process by which
information is checked and compared with other
information and is then used to inform decision
making
 In order to proceed with an investigation, information
must be turned into intelligence
What would you do?
 The following DVD is an actor who is re-telling the
situation faced by a real-life Loan Shark victim
 Please take notes on the following;
 What facts can you gather?
 What are the key pieces of information/intelligence
 What questions might you ask if you were undertaking
an interview?
Intelligence/Information
Statement

Can be anonymous

Will need to be signed and person giving it
named but no address are disclosed

Will be confidential

Will generally be disclosed to the defence
and the court

Can come via a third party

Must be made by the individual

Can be hearsay

Needs to be first hand

Can be limited information

Will be as detailed and factual as possible

Can be given and then the person can
remain uninvolved with the team

Can be called to give evidence
Your Organisation
Scenarios you might encounter
Split into groups
Each think about your scenario
Report back on the following:
 How would you approach the situation?
 What are the issues for the Organisation?
 What re-active strategy could be put in place?
 What pro-active strategy could be put in place?
Remember
 Illegal money lending is a indoor unseen crime
 It is notoriously well hidden
 People with debts are more likely to be stressed
 Multiple debts (including rent arrears) are common
 Quality of life is often poor – lots of symptoms
 Trapped in a payment cycle, both illegal and legal
 Desperate for help, unable to shout out
 Fear and reprisal is number one on the list of why
people don’t want to come forward...
Making a Difference
Make a difference – as a
Stop Loan Sharks Campaign partner!
 What actions will your organisation take?
 How will you measure the success?
 Who will be your Campaign contact?
Please also use the handout for some simple
and effective ideas
Liaise Officer Contact Details for
Middlesbrough, County Durham, Newcastle
upon Tyne, Northumberland and North
Tyneside
Name: Natalie Barker
Tel: 07557 203 149
E-mail: [email protected]
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Any questions?
Evaluation and Feedback
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