The Cheshire East Trading Standards team have been given a national award in recognition of their work to fight illegal money lending in their local community. The Partner Recognition Award from the England Illegal Money Lending Team (IMLT) was given to Officers because of their commitment to raising awareness of the dangers loan sharks. It is the second time the team have won the award.
The IMLT investigates and prosecutes illegal money lenders while supporting those who have borrowed money from them. Its new accreditation programme recognises and rewards partners that work alongside IMLT to raise awareness of loan sharks and their impact on local communities, and to create safer spaces for people to live and work.
Tony Quigley, head of ILMT, said: “We would like to congratulate Cheshire East Council on their Partner Recognition Award and thank them for their outstanding efforts tackling loan sharks.
“We are extremely grateful for the support of our partners across the country and rely on them to act as our eyes and ears in communities. By working together, we can stamp out illegal money lending and protect residents from this awful crime.”
Councillor Mick Warren, chair of Cheshire East Council’s environment and communities committee, said: “I am delighted to see our Trading Standards Officers recognised in this way, as their work to protect our residents is unrelenting and done with a passion to get the best for everyone.
“In many ways, it is sad that they do have to be so determined and vigilant in their work. However it is important to note that these unscrupulous scammers are very much a minority when compared to all the honest lenders there are in our borough. Where there are unlawful operators at hand though, I know that our brilliant team will work quickly to expose them.”
“Quigley added: “We continue to encourage people to come forward if they know of or have been a victim of loan sharks. You are not alone, and we will support you.”