YOUNG people in Tameside are being helped in standing up to hate crime and loan sharks.
Tameside Council teamed together with Prime Active Communities CIC and Greater Manchester Police (GMP) to deliver awareness sessions at Denton Community College.
They included workshops on identifying and tackling hate crime and anti-social behaviour delivered to 150 students by the Council’s Neighbourhood Services and Community Safety and GMP.
The Council’s Youth Services and Prime Active Communities CIC delivered a series of informative workshops about the dangers of using loan sharks, how to spot and report the signs and ways to borrow and save money responsibly, to 1,300 students. A film also highlighted the dangers of using loan sharks and the support available to victims.
A representative from the England Illegal Money Lending Team (IMLT) was also available at an information stand for any students wishing to chat in confidence.
The event was part of the College’s PHSE day with different organisations including CGL, You Think, Dog’s Trust and the Fire Service speaking to students about the services they provide.
Cllr Allison Gwynne, Tameside Council’s Executive Member for Neighbourhoods, attended the event.
She said: “No-one should ever face abuse or violence because of who they are and a lot of work is taking place in Tameside to eradicate hate crime, including educational activities that raise awareness and support our young people in doing the right thing.
“Loan sharks can devastate the most vulnerable people in our communities, causing them to get into financial difficulties and using the most callous methods to enforce their illegal debts. It’s important to give students an understanding of the dangers of loan sharks from an early age, as not only will they share what they have learnt with their families but also so they know to avoid these criminals in adult life.
“I’d like to thank everyone involved for creating these sessions and Denton Community College staff and students for their participation.”
The loan sharking workshops were funded by the England IMLT using proceeds of crime money seized from convicted loan sharks.
Hate crime is any crime that is targeted at a person because of hostility or prejudice towards that person’s alternative subculture, disability, race, religion or belief, sexual orientation, gender ID/ gender reassignment.
If you’re a victim of hate crime, you can seek help or make a report by visiting www.report-it.org.uk/your_police_force or for anti-Muslim hate crime, https://tellmamauk.org. Alternatively, in an emergency call 999 or for a non-emergency 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111. Anyone who has been the victim of a loan shark can report them in confidence on 0300 555 2222 or online at www.stoploansharks.co.uk.
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