Justice Secretary announces review of Criminal Injuries Compensation as part of new Victims Strategy
10 Sep 2018
The Justice Secretary has announced a full review of the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme (CICS) to ensure it reflects the changing nature of crime and can better support victims. The plans are set out in the first ever cross-government Victims Strategy, launched today (Monday 10th September).
Rape Crisis England & Wales spokesperson Katie Russell said:
“A full review of the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme (CICS) is long overdue. The current Scheme is not fit for purpose and discriminates in particular against victims and survivors of sexual offences. Rape Crisis has been calling for a complete overhaul of CICS for years.
It’s encouraging that the review announced today will take into account the recommendations of the Independent Inquiry Into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) and that the so-called ‘same roof rule’ - ruled incompatible with human rights law earlier this year - will be abolished.
There are very many other issues with the current Scheme that also must be addressed, including: the failure to recognise that under-16s cannot consent to their own abuse through the distinction drawn between consent in law and ‘in fact’; the lack of acknowledgment or understanding of the nature of grooming and sexual exploitation; the two-year time limit, and; the disqualification of victims and survivors with criminal convictions.
The inappropriate and sometimes retraumatising nature of communications sent to victims and survivors by the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) must also be tackled.
Rape Crisis will watch with interest as the review progresses and hopes to be given the opportunity to feed into this important piece of work.
In terms of the wider Victims Strategy unveiled today, it is positive to see acknowledgement that the Victims’ Code needs strengthening and that the current funding landscape for support and advocacy services is complex and ineffective.
It’s crucial that a sustainable funding model for specialist services is achieved as a matter of urgency and resourcing significantly increased to match the increased need and demand from victims and survivors.”