Baroness Newlove Reviewed Looked At Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority
A review of the Criminal Injury Compensation Authority (CICA) released by the Victims’ Commissioner has been welcomed by specialist lawyers at Irwin Mitchell who warned that the report must now lead to changes to the current system.
Baroness Newlove said that her review found that the CICA was needlessly forcing survivors of violent and sexual crime to repeat traumatic details, and is having a ‘detrimental impact’ on their wellbeing.
Those who were victims of a crime, including bereaved family members of those murdered, are able to claim money from the CICA, funds which can be used to help them recover from their experiences.
The review has been supported by Sarah Brumpton, head of the Criminal Injuries Compensation team at Irwin Mitchell who was involved in ensuring the views of CICA claimants were properly representing in the report.
Expert Opinion“Irwin Mitchell, who have been representing victims of crime for over 30 years, warmly welcome the Victims’ Commissioner Baroness Newlove's comprehensive report into the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority.
“It is great news for our clients, and indeed all victims of crime, that at long last it has been recognised that the system designed to help them very often in fact re-traumatises them.
“We wholly support the recommendations that a system currently mired in bureaucracy, be quicker, more transparent and fair so victims feel supported and empowered by the process and that they are compensated fairly for the injuries suffered.
“With the forthcoming Ministry Of Justice review of the process there is real force for change. We look forward to working with all the agencies concerned to help bring this about.” Sarah Brumpton - Associate Solicitor & Head of National CICA Team
Compensation of up to £500k is available for victims of crime who can prove that they have suffered as a result of their injuries and that there are no other alternative routes for redress. But lawyers say this cap is too small and has not increased in line with general inflation since it was introduced.
Expert Opinion“For a brain or spinal injury victim who is now disabled and may have problems working, then the £500k cap is often completely inadequate to cover the costs of their equipment, therapy and care.
“There has been no increase in the cap since it was introduced but the costs of services which help injured victims has gone up. This should be taken into account when any changes and improvements are made.” Sarah Brumpton - Associate Solicitor & Head of National CICA Team
According to the BBC, as part of her review Baroness Newlove spoke to over 200 victims, as well as police commissioners, support services and lawyers.