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Government cuts criminal compensation

6 February 2012

The government has decided to save money by scrapping criminal compensation payments to victims with minor injuries.

Under the plans, victims who would have received payments of £2,000 or less from the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme will get nothing.

Those who would have got £2,500 will get £1,000, and those who would have got £5,500 will get £3,500. Awards of £11,000 and above will not be cut.

“We do not believe that small compen-sation payments after the event are the most effective way to help victims recover from the effects of crime,” MoJ officials said in a consultation paper published last week.

“More minor injuries will be catered for by the NHS and we will invest more money in support services for victims, available at the point of need.”

Officials said resources were “better spent on immediate services for victims of the most serious crimes, the persistently targeted and the vulnerable”.

Victims of dog attacks would no longer get compensation unless the “animal itself was used deliberately to inflict an injury on that person”.

People with unspent criminal convictions would lose the right to claim, along with non-European nationals resident in the UK for less than six months.

However, victims of terrorist attacks overseas would get compensation through a special scheme and there would be ex-gratia payments to those injured in that way since January 2002.

David Bott, president of APIL, said victims with “less serious but still significant injuries” must be allowed to claim full and fair redress like anyone else.

“Falling victim to a crime can be a harrowing experience, regardless of the level of injury.”

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