LOAN sharks are one of the blights of modern society, preying on the desperate and vulnerable and making life hell for huge numbers of people.
Debt is one of the things that keep many of us awake at night.
But it’s not always debt that’s been run up treating ourselves or or families to life’s little luxuries. Many people today are borrowing to survive. The loans are to pay the bills, to put food on the table.
As the recession continues to bite more and more people are being lured into the debt trap - and finding that it isn’t easy to escape.
Loan sharks operate with a degree of sophistication that catches victims unaware; they are friendly and approachable and only too eager to “help” when money is tight. They may even be a friend or neighbour, or a friend of a friend.
That’s often how the cycle - and the nightmare - starts.
The new hotline - see page nine - launched by a partnership involving the police, council officers and a local charity - will be a lifeline to thousands of people in Mexborough and surrounding areas.
Very often, trapped in a downward spiral of debt, depression and despair, people do not know where to turn, or have the resourcefulness to find out where help can be found.
The new hotline number will be highly visible, thanks to the involvement of Refurnish, whose vans will be emblazoned with the contact, and also very convenient, thanks to social media.
The national illegal money lending team has reported great success and bringing the loan sharks to justice - and allowing thousands of people to sleep easy at night.