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Ken Clarke to ban criminals from claiming injuries fund

 The Justice Secretary, Kenneth Clarke, launched the "Getting it right for Victims & Witnesses" consultation.  The Consultation will look at creating a "speedier, more supportive system for victims".

Further proposals from the Justice Secretary include:

  • Ending payments for minor injuries such as a sprained ankles, cuts and grazes;
  • Greater funding for victim support services, better targeted at those most in need;
  • Stopping criminal injuries compensation payments to people with unspent convictions - totalling at least £75million over the past decade;
  • Banning criminal injuries compensation payments to people who have been resident in the UK for less than 6 months (except for UK and EU/EEA nationals): 
  • A new statutory Victims' Code including the right for victims to make a personal statement and request a meeting with their offender;
  • A simpler route of complaint and redress for victims;
  • Giving new Police and Crime Commissioners a key role in deciding the priorities for local victims' services;
  • Ensuring more voluntary organisations has access to long-term funding.

To view the entire consultation go to:

 http://consult.justice.gov.uk/digital-communications/victims-witnesses   

Rape Crisis (England and Wales) welcomes the consultation on the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme (CICS). Any application for CICS is complex and we would welcome any reforms that simplify the current process. 

In these difficult economic times, where there are competing priorities for local funding, central funding such as Victim Surcharge would contribute towards ensuring dedicated Rape Crisis services stay open. 

Whilst we acknowledge Mr Clarke’s comments regarding only ‘blameless victims’ accessing CIC, Rape Crisis considers a blanket ban on all individuals with criminal records claiming CIC to be a position that is more complicated than it appears.   Research shows that many women offenders have also been victims of sexual violence as adults/ children, any blanket ban would restrict these often vulnerable women with complex needs from accessing compensation as a right.  

http://www.guardian.co.uk/law/2012/jan/30/kenneth-clarke-criminals-injuries-fund/

http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/+/http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/about-us/news/corston-report

http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/publications/crime/call-end-violence-women-girls/government-stern-review?view=Binary