The Victims Commissioner, Baroness Newlove, has today called for wholesale reform of the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme.
In her report reviewing the scheme, which seeks to compensate innocent victims of violent crime, Baroness Newlove’s claims that the scheme is currently beset by problems including long delays, poor communication and uncertainty. All of these factors are causing stress for applicants which can retrigger their original trauma.
Our own experience of CICA aligns with that of the Victims Commissioner. Long delays, a lack of updates on our clients applications, the inability to speak directly to the case handler/decision maker, plus vague and sometimes bizarre decisions which fail to be justified by evidence, all reflect badly on CICA.
These issues result in reviews and Appeals, which cause further stress for the victims. You cannot even correspond with them via email, and calls are dealt with by a call centre. It all feels a little like a ‘tick-box’ exercise – an overly-complex and ill-thought out scheme seemingly designed to frustrate and discourage innocent victims of some of the most serious of crimes, rather than support victims via that all-important ‘human’ touch, supporting their emotional needs. This is unfortunately sadly lacking and we echo Baroness Newlove’s call for reform.
Fortunately here at Ringrose Law we have huge experience in dealing with all kinds of injury cases, including Criminal Injury Compensation Authority claims. Please contact one of our experienced personal injury team if you have suffered injuries as a result of crime, a road accident, accident at work or in a public place. We can advise you fully and guide you through the claim process if we believe you have reasonable prospects of bringing a successful injury claim.