East Sussex anti-slavery team wins national award

A multi-agency East Sussex team dedicated to combating modern slavery has been recognised with a national award.

Discovery, the team working to raise awareness around the dangers of using loan sharks, has been recognised by the England Illegal Money Lending Team (IMLT) for its initiatives tackling loan sharks in the county and making communities safer.

The IMLT investigates and prosecutes illegal money lenders while supporting those who have borrowed money from a loan shark.

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Discovery’s latest project was a Partner Recognition accreditation from the IMLT.

PC Jess Boulton and PC Mark Charlton from the Discovery Investigation team holding the accreditation certificate. Photo from Sussex Police. SUS-210812-094306001

The new accreditation programme recognises and rewards partners that work alongside IMLT to raise awareness of loan sharks and create safer spaces for people to live/work.

Detective sergeant Greg Montier said, “We’re pleased to have received this award. By working in partnership with the specialist team, this has given the Discovery partnership another way of causing disruption to gangs who use the threat of illegal money lending as a tool to exploit vulnerable people.”

Tony Quigley, head of the England Illegal Money Lending Team, said, “We would like to congratulate Discovery 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.

“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.”

Anyone who believes they might be the victim of a loan shark can contact the Stop Loan Sharks 24-hour confidential helpline on 0300 555 2222, email [email protected] or complete an online report form at www.stoploansharks.co.uk.