A CAMPAIGN aimed at raising awareness of the dangers of loan sharks will launch in Ipswich next week.

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Representatives of the multi-agency project will speak with adults and young people about loan sharks and the problems they can cause.

The borough council and Trading Standards are among the agencies which have joined forces with the England Illegal Money Lending Team to try and stamp out the problem.

Colin Spence, Suffolk County Council’s cabinet member for public protection, said: “It is important to remember the very real dangers loan sharks pose to our communities.

“A moment of debt relief can quickly turn into a lifetime of financial misery and distress.”

A number of projects are now in place across Ipswich to help people who have fallen victim to loan sharks and are also struggling with payday loans. Other agencies involved with the project, which will start on Monday, include the Ipswich and Suffolk Credit Union and Suffolk police. It is estimated that 310,000 households across the country are in debt to a loan shark.

Councillor Keith Rawlingson, chairman of Ipswich Borough Council’s south-east area committee, said: “Many people who borrow from loan sharks are subjected to threats and violence.”

To find out more about the sessions, call Emma Cook at the borough council on 01473 433141. To report a loan shark, call the confidential hotline 24 hours a day, on 0300 5552222

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