In July I wrote about Ken Clarke’s (then Justice Secretary) intention to restrict access to compensation under the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme to victims of violent crime who suffer physical or psychological injury. On Friday, new justice minister, Helen Grant defended the government’s proposals to cut payments to injured victims, claiming that it would save £50m each year.
The proposed changes were due to be implemented from October this year. However, it appears the government may be considering a u-turn. The Ministry of Justice has released a statement indicating a re-think in light of views opposing the planned cuts raised in Parliament and by the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL) and Unions.
The move has to be welcomed. Why should innocent injured victims of crime be deprived of much needed support at a time when they most need it? Being a victim of a violent crime is distressing enough, but to remove access to properly entitled compensation would simply add insult to injury.
Author: Lee Hart