Bullying during illegal debt collection a growing problem in Westmeath



Tuesday, April 12, 2022 8:10 a.m.

It was discussed at the last joint county police committee.

Gardaí in Westmeath recognizes a growing problem of intimidation when collecting illegally accrued debts.

The issue was raised at a joint police committee meeting in the county yesterday afternoon.

It is understood that these bills are generated by those who find themselves unable to obtain the necessary loans due to poor credit and those who are drug addicts.

Local Sinn Féin TD Sorca Clarke said a constituent came to her with bite marks on her chest, which she says were handed over by one of the so-called debt collectors.

Deputy Clarke detailed the actions of what she describes as nefarious figures operating in both Athlone and Mullingar and noted that her office has seen a substantial increase in the number of calls it receives about it .

Westmeath Garda Division Chief Superintendent Fergus Healy acknowledged it was a growing problem both locally and nationally.

Mr Healy says an inspector has been appointed to specifically deal with all reported cases of crime and encourage people to report to Gardaí.

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