Cash seized from loan sharks to boost Norfolk good causes

Dan Roper, cabinet member for public protection at Norfolk County Council.

Dan Roper, cabinet member for public protection at Norfolk County Council. - Credit: Supplied

Seventeen good causes in Norfolk could benefit from a share in money seized from loan sharks, if people in Norwich decide they deserve the cash.

The England Illegal Money Lending Team, which investigates and prosecute loan sharks has launched the 'Your Choice' initiative in the city, with £2,000 worth of proceeds of crime money.

Norfolk County Council Trading Standards, Norwich City Council and Cotman Housing have collectively matched this with a further £2,000.

Over the past weeks, local groups have been bidding for the proceeds of crime money to spend on improving their community, and now the public get to choose who will receive a share of the cash.

The organisations will get the chance to showcase their ideas at the Forum this Friday. The public also had the chance to vote online for their favourite projects, but that closed last week.

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The organisations who have applied for the funding are Age UK Norfolk, Norfolk Credit Union, West Norwich Credit Union, YMCA Norfolk, Earlham Early Years Centre, Norwich Credit Union, Norfolk Carers Support, Wherry Housing, the Bridge Plus, Future Radio and Norwich MIND.

Dan Roper, cabinet member for public protection at Norfolk County Council, said: 'It's great to see the variety of different organisations and projects that have stepped forward to bid for a share of this funding.

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'It's now up to us to decide who gets the cash. I'd urge people to seize this opportunity to make loan sharks pay for their crimes in a way that directly benefits our local communities. Come along to the Forum on Friday to see the projects being showcased.'

Tony Quigley, head of the England Illegal Money Lending Team said: 'Illegal money lenders are a scourge on our communities, making life a misery for their victims.

'Through schemes such as 'Your Choice' we are able to use this money for something positive and help to prevent these criminals from operating in the future.'

The England Illegal Money Lending Team have so far prosecuted 263 illegal money lenders across the country.

To report a loan shark:

Call the 24/7 confidential hotline 0300 555 2222

Text 'loan shark + your message' to 60003


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