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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Crime victim payouts axed: Thousands hurt in violent assaults no longer merit compensation

Victims of violent street attacks left with a dislocated jaw or broken hand will be denied compensation under new cuts.

Burns victims with permanent scarring will also be refused payment as part of reforms announced yesterday by Justice Secretary Ken Clarke.

Payouts for minor injuries will be scrapped, while those for some more serious injuries will be sharply reduced to focus funding on ‘support services’ and the victims of the worst crimes, he said.

Around 15,000 a year will lose out under the changes. Critics said it was wrong that ‘innocent victims of crime’ should suffer.

Mr Clarke told MPs the taxpayer-funded Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme was now in ‘serious financial difficulty’ with a deficit of more than £250million.

The changes to the scheme will see an end to all payouts for ‘lower level’ injuries. Mr Clarke said they would affect those with ‘sprained ankles, broken toes or bruised ribs’.

Currently there are 25 compensation bands starting at £1,000 for minor sprains and fractures, or ‘temporary mental anxiety’. At the top end victims can receive up to £250,000 if they suffer paralysis and very serious brain damage requiring fulltime care. Read More