Graffiti art project raises awareness of loan sharks in St Helens
England’s Illegal Money Lending Team (IMLT) worked with UC Crew and Kingsyze Graffiti to transform the park into a new canvas of graffiti to highlight the dangers of loan sharks on social media.
Loaners are turning to social media to hook people into a dangerous cycle of debt and charge exorbitant interest rates on loans.
The murals installed in Victoria Park include messages on how to avoid and report online loan sharks.
The project, which was funded from money collected from loan sharks, will see more awareness-raising murals installed in St James Haydock and Mesnes Park in Newton-le-Willows over the coming weeks.
Tony Quigley, Head of the Illegal Money Lending Team in England, said: “Loan sharks are criminals who prey on vulnerable people and are a plague on our communities. They steal from their victims and are known to use intimidation and violence to get their money.
“This is a fantastic project that will help young people and families understand the dangers of using loan sharks and encourage reporting of illegal money lending in the city.
“I urge anyone who is in desperate need of financial assistance not to turn to a loan shark, but rather to speak to Citizens Advice St Helens or a credit union. Anyone affected by loan sharks can access confidential assistance. on our 24-hour helpline or live chat. “
Loaners may seem friendly at first, but their behavior can quickly change and some resort to intimidation and threats if payments are not made.
England’s Illegal Money Lending Team works in partnership with St Helens Trading Standards and Merseyside Police to investigate and prosecute loan sharks and support victims of crime.
Tom Glynn of the Hip Hop organization UC Crew based in St Helens, worked with young people from elementary and secondary schools in St Helens to bring their ideas to life.
He said: “It has been a pleasure to work with students at St Helens School to raise awareness of a hidden problem in society.
“Young people often find out about loan sharks in school through performances and workshops run by agencies, but this is the first time that young people can educate adults about the problem using art murals. outside. “
If you believe you are involved with a loan shark, confidentially call Stop Loan Sharks on 0300 555 2222 or send an email [email protected]
You can also submit a report online and discuss your situation with a support worker via Live Chat between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. on weekdays at www.stoploansharks.co.uk.
Advice to Citizens St Helens provides free, independent, confidential and impartial advice on a range of issues – from assistance with allowances and debts to housing and employment rights. Learn more about www.sthelenscab.org.uk