Printer Friendly

TERROR AT THE SCHOOL GATES; EXCLUSIVE: LOAN SHARKS SNATCHING KIDS; Lenders intimidate parents by picking up children after classes; Teachers forced to defend mums& dads from yobs with dogs.


TWISTED loan sharks are stepping up their thuggery to scare hard-up parents who owe them money.

Experts warned yesterday that yobs with fierce dogs are turning up at schools to terrify mums and dads as they arrive to collect their children.

Loan sharks have even picked up clients' kids - without the knowledge of their parents - and driven them home.

The aim of this menacing tactic is to warn families that their little ones are easy targets if they do not pay.

One headteacher said: "The worst incident was when I had to stand between a debt collector and a parent because of the level of aggression.

"They come with dogs and I hate dogs.

I often fear for my own safety, but I am supported by my senior staff and caretaker team.

"I make it clear they are not allowed on school grounds, but that doesn't help parents if the collectors are still hanging around on the pavement. Some of the parents are really scared and upset."

The headteacher said parents have been hiding from loan sharks. But the lenders know that the mums and dads have no choice other than to pick up their children from school.

The teacher added: "We have to intervene when they become aggressive with parents, or parents are so scared that we have had to give them sanctuary."

The warning about the shocking tactics was issued by the Illegal Money Lending Team in England, which co-ordinates probes into loan sharks.

Tony Quigley, who runs the organisation, said: "We had a case where the loan shark would cut the wires to someone's television and phone and just sit outside the house. It's obviously quite intimidating if you are in the house on your own. The same guy would collect the person's children from school and bring them home.

"He wouldn't do anything to harm them, but it was a message that this is what they could do.

"It's a form of control and it's similar in a way to domestic violence."

In a separate case, mum Debbie Wilson spoke yesterday about how this kind of ploy left her dreading what would happen to her kids if she did not pay the huge sums demanded by a loan shark.

Another mum has had to switch her children's school five times to try and keep one step ahead of a loan shark chasing her for cash.

The mother, of Carlisle, said: "He told me 'pay me, don't feed the children'.

"As well as changing schools, the kids have been subjected to a hostel. It nearly cost me my marriage."

Now cash seized from illegal lenders is funding a groundbreaking project to teach children as young as five about the dangers of loan sharks. IMLT has designed cartoon-themed education packs for schools. Mr Quigley said: "The sooner we educate these young consumers about the pitfalls of loan sharks, the more likely they are to make solid financial decisions.

"Money management is a vital part of children's education. It is important we develop an understanding of the dangers of loan sharks with our youngsters.

"Not only will this help when children reach adult life, but it's hoped they will also share what they've learned with their families so they know where to turn to."

More than 2,500 schools have already shown interest in the idea.

Youngsters at the Woodside Academy in Bradford are the first in the city to receive lessons about loan sharks.

Headteacher Jane Browne said some pupils' families had first-hand experience of the terrible consequences of borrowing from illegal lenders.

In Harrow, North West London, the council has warned parents about loan sharks waiting to pounce at school gates. The authority said in a statement: "It is clear that all vulnerable families... may be at risk of these sharp and intimidating practices."

In one appalling case, IMLT found that a man who borrowed PS250 from a loan shark ended up paying back PS90,000 over 19 years.

ConDem cuts have seen hundreds of thousands of people forced to turn to illegal lenders charging huge interest.


They come with dogs... I hate dogs. The parents are scare and upset HEADTEACHER on debt collectors at school


DEMAND Robert Reynolds who scared mum Debbie

NOWHERE IS SAFE Schools are new battleground

THREAT Heavies with dogs are scaring parents
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2014 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:May 12, 2014
Previous Article:police appeal for missing keeley, 14.
Next Article:I'm good for her, but she always falls for Mr Nasty; DEAR COLEEN; Britain's most straight-talking problem page.

Terms of use | Copyright © 2018 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters