National campaign targets male loan shark victims
Published by Riverside for Riverside in Housing and also in Communities
Madi receiving her prize
Riverside has backed a national campaign to encourage male victims of loan sharks to come forward.
Posters designed by graphic design students at the University of Bolton are being used in the campaign after the England Illegal Money Lending Team launched a competition to create eye catching designs to encourage men to steer clear of loan sharks and report the crime if they have been a victim.
The competition was launched after research showed that while men and women are targeted by loan sharks in roughly equal measure, men are more reluctant to engage and give a statement. The team held a series of events across the country, and the posters were created, with men in mind, to ensure the message to report loan sharks continue to reach the public.
Madi Anna Richardson’s design was chosen from more than 30 entries, showcased at St Helens Central Library and included on the England Illegal Money Lending Team’s Facebook and Twitter pages. Nearly 1000 votes were cast to pick a winner.
Madi said: “I’d like to thank the England Illegal Money Lending Team for giving the University of Bolton the opportunity to take part in what was such a challenging task looking into illegal money lending. It was certainly an eye opener for us all. I hope the poster will be of benefit to men across the country.
“I feel very privileged to have won but spreading the word about this issue is more important to me than winning.”
Tanya Marsh, Riverside’s Neighbourhood Housing Officer, said: “Social housing tenants often have no access to affordable credit. Their vulnerability is a magnet to loan sharks who regularly work within our communities and start by offering small loans of sometimes less than £100, which can escalate in a short space of time to thousands.
“We are proud to have teamed up with the Illegal Money Lending Team and Bolton University to spread the word to people in our neighbourhoods that they don’t have to live in fear.”
Tony Quigley Head of the England Illegal Money Lending Team said “It’s vitally important we raise awareness of this despicable crime, so people know to always avoid loan sharks and that there is help available if they have been a victim. The posters are a really effective way of getting this message across and encouraging people to come forward. I’d like to thank all the students who took part and everyone who voted.”
Carol Allison, Programme Leader in the Faculty of Arts, Design and Language at the University of Bolton, said “Working with the team and the extended community, is a great opportunity for the students and staff to be involved in live local projects. As part of the creative industries, the discipline of graphic design deals predominantly with problem solving issues and as such the live brief gives the students the extra dimension of working with clients and industry. This greatly enhances their undergraduate experience and helps prepare them for the world of work.”
To report a loan shark:
Call the 24/7 confidential hotline 0300 555 2222
Text ‘loan shark + your message’ to 60003
Private message us on www.facebook.com/stoploansharksproject