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Dame Vera welcomes Victims’ Commissioner’s Review of the Criminal Injuries Compensation

24th January 2019

The review speaks of the complexities of applying for help, which is very unfair on people who will still be traumatised by being victims of serious violent or sexual offences or who are close relatives of homicide victims. The report makes clear that the bureaucracy involved with the need to revisit and describe the crime and its impact on the claimant is capable of having a detrimental impact on victims’ wellbeing, that is to say that the system intended to help them can actually make them worse.

Dame Vera said: “Baroness Newlove calls on the Ministry of Justice and Police and Crime Commissioners to make applications to the CICA an integral part of victim support so that everyone is told about their right to compensation and can be helped with it as part of a package of help to cope and recover from their victim experience.

“It is pleasing that the Victims’ Commissioner makes particular mention of the fact that here in Northumbria we fund Newcastle Law Centre to support victims in Northumbria to apply for compensation. She says that we are the only PCC who has this as a funding priority. Making an application and receiving compensation can produce a clear acknowledgement by the state that an individual who has suffered harm is nonetheless a valuable individual who it wishes to support through recovery. It can play a key role in re-empowering victims following a traumatic experience as long as they have friendly, professional assistance so that they can make progress. We are grateful to Newcastle Law Centre for the great work they do.”