Rachel welcomed new measures to tackle criminals illegally lending money announced by Consumer Affairs Minister Gareth Thomas.The national hotline – which is confidential – is now up and running and gives consumers one single point of contact. The Stop Loan Sharks teams have successfully prosecuted more than 60 people with a further 90 prosecutions underway.

This amounts to nearly 40 years of custodial sentences for illegal lending and associated crimes. The teams have supported more than 7,000 victims of illegal money lenders. The first two pilot schemes were launched in September 2004 and then rolled out to every region of England, Wales and Scotland in 2007. Their work has meant around £14million has been saved for consumers who were locked in illegal deals with these money lenders.

Rachel will be attending the West Leeds Debt Forum on 13th March.

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