Confiscated criminal’s money funds lessons about illegal lending in Merseyside schools

Children as young as five at schools across Merseyside are set to be taught a lesson about the risks of using loan sharks.

Ready-made lesson packs will be used by teachers in primary schools throughout the region to warn their pupils about illegal money-lending, which have been funded by cash confiscated from criminals.

A cartoon penguin who borrows from a loan shark to fix a broken fishing rod will be used to inspire the attention of primary school children while secondary school pupils will be looking at real life case studies and taught about credit.

The scheme, which has been organised through the England’s loan shark squad, the Illegal Money Lending Team hopes that giving youngsters lessons in money management will keep them away from the often violent clutches of loan sharks.

Councillor Jane Corbett, cabinet member for children’s services in Liverpool, said:

“These packs are helping children from their earliest days in school understand about the dangers of loan sharks and through them make their families more aware about their activities.

“It is very important that our young people learn about managing their finances – the better educated they are in this area the less they are likely to become victims of loan sharks later in life.”

Illegal monley-lending is a promiment issue in Merseyside, with a number of cases being reported every year. In 2012 an illegal lender from the Wirral was charging 2,752% interest on a loan, which amounts to 161 times more than an average credit card.

Nationally, borrowers are said to part with £700m every year to loan sharks and Tony Quigley, head of the England Illegal Money Lending Team believes educating the next generation is the next step in addressing the issue.

He said:

“Money management is a vital part of children’s education, and it is important we develop an understanding of the dangers of loan sharks.

“Not only will this help to send a preventive message, when children reach adult life but it is hoped that they will also share what they have learnt with their families.”

Source and image: Liverpool Echo

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