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University Hospitals Plymouth NHS Trust scoop national award for tackling loan sharks

UHP staff and England Illegal Money Lending Team shark mascot

UHP has won a national award in recognition of its efforts to raise awareness of the dangers of using loan sharks.  UHP staff and England Illegal Money Lending Team shark mascot.

The Trust’s Safeguarding Team has been recognised by the England Illegal Money Lending Team (IMLT) for their initiatives tackling loan sharks in the county and making communities safer.

The IMLT investigates and prosecutes illegal money lenders while supporting those who have borrowed money from a loan shark.

Partner Recognition accreditation from the England Illegal Money Lending Team (IMLT) recognises and rewards partners that work alongside IMLT to raise awareness of loan sharks, and their impact on local communities, and to create safer spaces for people to live and work.

Loan sharks are increasingly using social media platforms to advertise their illegal loans and target potential victims.

A recent campaign by IMLT, called #SharkFreeSurfing, ran across the Stop Loan Sharks and UHP social media platforms, with the aim of encouraging not just victims, but the wider community to report online illegal money lending activity.

Tony Quigley, Head of England Illegal Money Lending Team, said: “We would like to congratulate UHPNT on their partner recognition award and thank them for their outstanding efforts tackling loan sharks.

“We are extremely grateful for the support of our partners across the country and rely on them to act as our eyes and ears in communities. By working together, we can stamp out illegal money lending and protect residents from this awful crime.

“We continue to encourage people to come forward if they know of or have been a victim of loan sharks. You are not alone and we will support you.”

Anyone who believes they might be the victim of a loan shark can contact the Stop Loan Sharks 24-hour confidential helpline on 0300 555 2222, email reportaloanshark@stoploansharks.gov.uk or complete an online report form at www.stoploansharks.co.uk. Live Chat is available on the website from 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday.

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