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Issue Date:- 11 February 2008

Report by Southport Crime Prevention

LOAN Sharks operating in Sefton are about to have the tables turned, thanks to a new team who are determined to bite back.

A team made up of Trading Standards officers from Sefton and other authorities in Merseyside and Cheshire will join together to fight back against illegal money, lending by rooting out loan sharks and bringing them to justice.

They will work in partnership with Birmingham City Council's pioneering iIlegal Money Lending Team which was set up in 2004 and has already seen over £2 million illegal debt written off, helped 1,300 victims and taken 27 people to court.

The new Government funded team will be responsible for gathering evidence about loan shark activities, raiding premises to seize evidence, carrying out arrests and then using the Proceeds of Crime Act to confiscate any assets.

The team will also consist of officers who will liaise closely with victims, introducing them to groups such as credit unions and debt support agencies.

Sefton Council Trading Standards manager, Andrew Naisbitt, said:- "Loan sharks are unlicensed lenders who operate illegally and are more than likely to be involved in other criminal activities.

It is important we send a clear message to loan sharks that their actions will not be tolerated in Sefton and the rest of the region.

We will do everything in our power to bring them to justice.

This powerful new team gives us a fantastic opportunity to get rid of these people from our society.

Loan sharks are the lowest of the low, preying on vulnerable people when they are desperate.

They then use threats, and in some cases, violence to make sure the loans and the huge interest charges are paid.

Working closely with other councils around Merseyside and Cheshire means that we can put together a team of experts with the resources to investigate loan sharks and put them where they belong, before the courts and hopefully sentenced to a long period in prison."

Telephone and email hotlines will also be set up where people will be able to ring or email in and 'shop a shark'.

Residents will be able to call 0151 282 1122 or email  to report any illegal money lending, 24 hours a day.


WANTED: Liverpool’s most handsome, charming, athletic young men to become Butlers in the Buff...

LOCAL male order company “Butlers in the Buff”, is recruiting on the streets of Liverpool on 20 Wednesday 2008 and Thursday 21 February 2008 and are looking for Liverpool’s best to join their hunky team of scantily clad male butlers!

Could you charm, serve and smile whilst wearing little more that a small black apron? Butlers in the Buff are looking for attractive, smart and charismatic men between 21 to 35 years old, to join them on their quest to provide exceptional service with their unique twist on the traditional butler’s role.

The team will be scouting the streets, bars, gyms and sports clubs of Liverpool from Wednesday, 20 February 2008, so if you think you have got what it takes then get out their and make yourself known!

The job is incredibly social, fun and very well paid at £20 per hour! The Butlers have even appeared on numerous TV programmes including ITV’s ‘Going to Work Naked’ and most recently ‘Britain’s Next Top Model.’ The work is mainly evenings and weekends so makes a great part-time job, on top of day jobs. Current butlers come from all sorts of backgrounds and day jobs, from students and personal trainers to marine biologists and city bankers.

Company founder and the original Butler in the Buff, Jason Didcott, started the company five years ago after a 15 year career in Her Majesty Royal Navy. Jason states:-  “The concept of having a polite, good looking, young gentlemen greeting guests and serving champagne wearing only a tiny apron has proved very successful and the demand from the North is overwhelming so we really need more guys to join our team of 150 butler’s nation wide.”

Liverpool based butler Mark McKeon says:- “This is the best job I’ve ever had, I get paid to chat and socialise and it’s not at all tacky. We receive such positive feedback from everyone involved; they all love the twist that we provide to their events. It seems crazy that we should be paid £20 an hour to have such a good time!”

So if you think that your son, friend or boyfriend would make the perfect Butler in the Buff then put him forward to join Mark and the rest of the butlers across the UK.

Applying is easy, anyone interested should visit and click on ‘Become a butler’ section. Complete the downloadable form and send it in with a couple of clear, recent photos of the upper body and face to

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