A CAMPAIGN has been launched to raise awareness of loan sharks and to reduce illegal money lending in Chester-le-Street.

Cestria Community Housing has teamed up with England Illegal Money Lending Team to point victims towards the support available.

The initiative was launched at the Cestria Hub on Front Street recently with ‘Sid the Shark’ and a team distributed leaflets and spoke to residents.

Cestria spokesman Suzanne Jobson said: “Loan sharks trap borrowers into a spiral of debt, often resorting to extreme methods of intimidation, threats and violence to enforce repayment.”

  • A free advice surgery is held at the Cestria Hub every Monday from 9am to 5pm and a debt surgery takes place every Tuesday afternoon between 1.30pm and 4.30pm.