Leamington and Warwick group urges people to beware loan sharks

LOAN sharks operating in Leamington and Warwick can so easily turn to violence and crime when desperate people find they simply can’t pay the high interest rates they’ve been charged.

This was one of the harrowing testimonies to emerge from a Debt Matters Conference organised at Lillington Children’s Centre by the Leamington and Warwick West Surestart organisation.

District councillor Barbara Weed (Lab, Leamington Willes) was among those attending the event who heard about the activities of the illegal “banks” and how quickly threats can ensue when loans are left unpaid.

Victims and professionals working for charities like Action for Children talked about the unexpected costs that suddenly floor people living just below the poverty line who somehow manage until something goes wrong - like losing a low-paying job, the washing machine breaking down or the wish to send a child on a school trip.

Small loans can be available from the South Warwickshire Credit Union. Most important was the need to talk to someone like Citizens’ Advice about debts and not deal with the problem alone.