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New rules under Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme

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New rules under Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme

Post  Panda on Tue 31 Jan - 0:14

5:23pm UK, Monday January 30, 2012





Victims of crime who suffer sprained ankles, broken toes or
bruised ribs will no longer be entitled to compensation under Government
plans, the Justice Secretary has announced.



Ken Clarke said the plans would see payouts target those who suffer
the most serious injuries and prioritise high-quality practical help.


It is part of a consultation in which the Government is keen to refocus the taxpayer-funded Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme.


Under the new the initiative, criminals will be stopped from claiming compensation for injuries and psychological damage.


In the past 10 years, it is thought 20,000 claimants with criminal records have received more than £75m in compensation.


In 2010/11, total payouts under the scheme cost the Government almost £300m.










Justice Secretary Ken Clarke unveiled the plans in the Commons





The Ministry of Justice hopes it will be able to reduce the long backlog in compensation claims by completely removing criminals from being eligible.


Mr Clarke told MPs: "Compensation should be focused on those with serious injuries.


"We are therefore proposing that the top 13 bands - over half the
tariff bands - covering the most serious injuries are compensated at the
present level.


"We will also protect tariff awards for the families of homicide
victims, and awards for sexual crimes or persistent physical abuse."


He went on: "In order to offer that protection, and fund the scheme
sustainably, we propose to reduce or remove awards for those with less
grave injuries.


"Injuries such as sprained ankles, broken toes or bruised ribs, from
which people tend to recover fairly quickly, will no longer be covered
at all.


"And, in a further step, those who have committed crimes against
others and have unspent criminal convictions will, in most cases, no
longer be eligible to seek taxpayer compensation when others commit
crimes against them."


The plans will also mean offenders have to contribute to the cost of
victim support services, which are also currently funded by the
taxpayer.


The Government wants to raise an extra £50m from offenders through
the so-called "victim surcharge" and other financial measures.









I think it's an absolutely ridiculous idea. Obviously
there isn't a lot of money to go round and I think the Government is on a
cost-cutting exercise.


Kieron Bimpson, whose daughter was killed in a fire











It says it ultimately intends funding for victims' services to remain
unchanged, which has been criticised by some of those offering support
to victims of crime.


Kieron Bimpson has opened a support centre in Liverpool, which is
named in memory of his daughter Francesca who died after an arsonist set
fire to her home in Everton.


Since her death, Mr Bimpson has been raising money to open the new centre.


He claims the new proposals have less to do with making criminals pay and more to do with Government cost-cutting.


"I think it's an absolutely ridiculous idea," he told Sky News.


"Obviously there isn't a lot of money to go round and I think the
Government is on a cost-cutting exercise to try and recoup the costs
that they have given away to the bank by making victims suffer again.


"I think criminals haven't got any money anyway so I don't see where the money is going to come from."


The new proposals would see the victim surcharge rise from a flat rate of £15 to £120 and would apply to every offender.


At the moment, the most serious offenders do not pay the levy because it only applies to those who are given fines in court.


Mr Clarke is also planning to increase speeding fixed penalty fines
from £60 to £100, with the £5,000 cap on fines which can be levied by
magistrates' courts removed.

Panda
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