A hard-hitting campaign has been launched to make people aware of the dangers of using loan sharks.
Kirklees Council has teamed up with the England Illegal Money Lending team to run a week-long campaign aimed to protect families from moneylenders charging huge amounts of interest.
Through the campaign, they have been encouraging people to turn away from loan sharks and to report the crime if they have been a victim.
The team have been holding sessions across the district, including at Batley Sports and Tennis Centre, where they highlighted the dangers of using loan sharks.
Head of the England illegal money lending team Tony Quigley said: “Illegal money lending is a despicable crime which causes nothing but harm to our communities.
“These lenders may appear to be offering a community service but borrowers are often forced to pay back far and above what they have borrowed and can afford.”
Throughout the country it is estimated more than 131,000 households are in debt to loan sharks.
As the debts cannot legally be enforced, many lenders resort to extreme methods to enforce repayment including threats, violence and intimidation.
Anyone with concerns should ring 0300 555 2222 in confidence, text ‘loan shark’ plus their message to 60003 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.