Compensation rules reform

THE JUSTICE Secretary Ken Clarke has announced measures to reform the crime compensation rules.

Criminals will only be able to claim compensation for being victims of crime in “exceptional circumstances”, under these proposals.

The annual costs for the taxpayer-funded Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme has trebled to almost £300m since 1997.

Mr Clarke also wants criminals to contribute more towards the scheme. One of the proposals is a payment of victim surcharges by more offenders, with higher fines for motoring offences.

This is anticipated to raise £50m for victims. The Justice Secretary wants to stop criminals claiming for injuries and psychological damage. Claims for minor injuries under the scheme for people in England, Wales and Scotland would also be restricted under the plans. Over the past 10 years, 20,000 people with criminal records have been paid more than £75m, including a rapist and a person convicted of two killings.

South West Norfolk MP Elizabeth Truss who is a member of the Justice Select Committee said: “It is wrong that the perpetrators of crimes should be able to claim damages. I fully support the Justice Secretary and want to see the emphasis of recompense returned to the victims of crime and not those who inflict the trauma and hardship.”