A CAMPAIGN to protect families from loan sharks has been officially launched in Tendring.

The Reaching Families Campaign has been set up by the England Illegal Money Lending Team.

The initiative, which has been backed by Tendring Council, is aimed at turning people away from loan sharks and to report if they have been a victim.

As part of the scheme, the council will be promoting the Colchester Credit Union as a safe and legal alternative for people across the district.

The credit union access points are open every Thursday morning between 10am and 12noon at Clacton Town Hall and at JobCentre Plus in Harwich.

Across the country, the team have written off £55 million worth of illegal debt and helped 23,670 victims.

To report a loan shark in confidence call the hotline on 0300 555 2222 or text ‘loan shark’ plus your message to 60003.