Cuts to the support for victims of crime: the Tories and Lib Dems must think again

The campaign to persuade the Government to reverse one of the cruellest cuts yet – to compensation to victims injured by criminals – will go to the wire.

MPs are due to vote at 10pm tonight on whether to approve cuts of 90% to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme.  These cuts will see the vast majority of victims denied state help after suffering an attack or injury at the hands of a criminal meaning that only people suffering the most serious injuries will be able to claim.

It means that people who suffer injuries like a broken jaw, broken ribs, or a perforated eardrum and partial deafness lasting for more than 13 weeks because of a kick to the side of the head will no longer be able to make a claim despite the fact that they could face time off work or even those their jobs – and all through no fault of their own.  Similarly people attacked and injured by dogs will be ignored.

Labour agrees that wherever possible, the criminal should be made to pay compensation to their victim but where that is not possible for whatever reason, the State has a responsibility to step in and help the person.

John Denham said:

This must be one of the cruellest cuts of all from the Tory-led government.  They claim to be on the side of the Victim but their actions, first in cutting support for Victim Support, and now slashing the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme with a direct impact on ordinary, honest people, they have shown they couldn’t care less.

“I will be in the Commons tonight to vote against the cuts and hope the pressure building up on the government will lead to them thinking again and put victims ahead of the relative small savings they’ll make by turning their backs on them.”

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