Action For Prisoners Families comment on pay-day loan sharks

                                                           
                                   PRISONERS FAMILIES TURN TO PAY DAY LOANS 

Action For Prisoners Families comment on the above post:

Action for Prisoners’ Families is extremely concerned about the contents of this post. We have been working with the APVU for some time now to do what we can to help them maintain the existing level of support. However, we are aware that there are people who don’t even know about the APVU support and who would be entitled to it if they were, those who are on low incomes (as in the post) but who don’t qualify, and that the current level of reimbursement for petrol use is based on 2008 prices. Despite pressure from us, we are no closer to knowing whether levels of visits have decreased because people can’t afford to travel, but we will continue to press for this information to be collated. The Stop Loan Sharks Project delivers free sessions to groups of individuals who want to work with them to make a difference in their communities. They will train people as advocates to protect their community from loan sharks. Contact lin.fisher@birmingham.gov.uk to find out about becoming an advocate. The scheme is funded until March 2013 and has so far written off more than £40 million of illegal debt (money which victims would have had to pay back), seized and confiscated over £1.3 million in cash, and secured more than 130 years in prison sentences. There is a confidential hotline number 0300 555 3333 on which you can report anyone who lends money without the licence required by the Consumer Credit Act 1974. The licences are issued by the Office of Fair Trading to individuals or companies who they believe are ‘fit and proper’. In an ideal world prisoners would be kept closer to their families and families would not be put under such pressure to find money to pay to visit. However, with a prison system at full capacity and more budget cuts planned this situation is unlikely to improve in the short term.

                                          Diana Ruthven Action For Prisoners Families