Have you ever tried claiming compensation as a victim of crime?

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Last month The Independent published an article highlighting how rape victims with criminal records for minor offences were being regularly denied compensation under the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme.

The article explained how compensation for rape committed by one attacker is set at £11,000. However, if the victim has an unspent conviction for, say, failing to pay her TV licence, then this amount would be reduced, seeming to create ‘an idea of deserving and undeserving victims’.

However, women rape victims are not the only ones who fall foul of the rules of the scheme, which was designed to “compensate blameless victims of violent crime in Great Britain”. If you have an unspent criminal record, then the Government is of the view that this should have an impact on any compensation with payments either reduced or totally refused.

The worst affected will be anybody having an unspent conviction for an offence which resulted in:

  • A custodial sentence
  • A community order
  • A youth rehabilitation order
  • A sentence excluded from rehabilitation (for example an IPP sentence)

In these cases, no payments will be awarded.

Once your conviction becomes spent, your payments are not be affected.

The scheme has been challenged unsuccessfully through the courts many times and we’d like to hear from anyone who has gone through the process and either had their compensation refused or reduced. Please email the details to policy@unlock.org.uk.

For more information

  1. For practical self-help information – More information is available on our compensation as a victim of crime information page
  2. Questions – If you have any questions about this, you can contact our helpline.

 

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Debbie Sadler