Friday, 11 April 2014

Compensation cut for victims of crime

Local MP Katy Clark has attacked the UK Tory-Lib Dem Government for cutting the number of victims of crime who qualify for compensation under the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme (CICS).

In 2012 the government amended the CICS, tightening eligibility rules. The Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority estimates that this year 42,000 applications will be made to the CICS, which is over 15,000 fewer than under the last year before the changes were made.

Last week Ms Clark challenged the UK Justice Secretary on the matter during Question Time in the House of Commons, asking if the Tory Minister was “proud he had taken away access to justice for so many victims of crime”.

Speaking later to the3towns, Katy Clark said, “It is alarming to see the drop in the number of victims of crime able to receive compensation through the CICS. When the Government forced through its changes I, along with various colleagues, highlighted the negative impact it would have on those who had been crime victims. Unfortunately, this seems to be borne out by the statistics.”

The Labour MP for North Ayrshire & Arran noted, “The Government claim they are not removing support from the most seriously injured claimants but the new rules exclude, for example, those who receive a broken nose in an assault. Many retail staff injured in armed robberies and assaults are no longer eligible for compensation.

“As well as the drop in the number of people claiming from the CICS, the government has also capped the amount victims can receive.”

Ms Clark argued, “We urgently need a government that will put victims of crime first.”

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