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Criminal Injury Compensation

Government to reconsider changes to criminal injury compensation

The Ministry of Justice has agreed to reconsider its plan to cut criminal injury compensation awards in a surprising U-turn.

The Ministry proposed that payments under the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme should be limited to victims with serious injuries, to make the Scheme more “sustainable”. Last year, £449m was paid out to victims of criminal attacks, and the Ministry of Justice estimated that restricting compensation to the most serious cases would reduce this figure by around £50m. Junior justice minister Helen Grant said that these minor injuries included “sprains and fractures”.

However, following disapproval and debate in Parliament, the proposals will be reconsidered. The move has been welcomed by victims’ groups, MPs and personal injury solicitors alike, as the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme is widely regarded as an essential resource for victims, and a cornerstone of the British justice system.

For a victim to be eligible, they must:

  • Be the blameless victim of a crime in England, Scotland or Wales

  • Report the incident to the police immediately, and co-operate fully

  • Apply within two years of the injury

Making criminal injury claims

Currently, blameless victims of violent crime can make an application to the Criminal Injury Compensation Scheme, a government funded organisation set up in 1964. The severity of injuries and impact on the victim’s life are assessed, and the level of criminal injury compensation decided based on this. There are 25 tiers of compensation that could be awarded, ranging from £1,000 to £500,000, with the option to claim additional care costs or loss of earnings. The scheme also awards compensation to the relatives of people who have died as a result of a criminal injury.

However, an offender does not need to be convicted or charged for the crime in question.

If you have suffered injuries as a result of a criminal act, contact Sheldon Davidson Solicitors for help making a claim to the Criminal Injury Compensation Scheme.