PCC “delighted” with new guidelines for the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme
“I am delighted that the Government has issued new guidelines for the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme after prompting from myself and Dame Vera Baird QC PCC for Northumbria.
Under the old rules sexually abused children could be refused compensation on the grounds they “consented”.
Earlier this year I wrote to the Ministry of Justice, with Dame Vera, making it clear there “is an urgent need for change”.
Fresh guidelines have now been issued to ensure that child victims of sexual abuse are not denied compensation on the mistaken grounds that they consented to a relationship.
Under the new guidelines, each claim will still be considered on its individual merits but the enhanced advice contains clear instructions for assessors to check for possible indicators of grooming and child sexual exploitation.
It’s a positive move I strongly support but there is still a question mark over whether the current situation can be resolved by simply amending guidance.
It may be time for the Government to look at the law which under pins the compensation scheme and I will continue to work with Dame Vera, in my role as deputy lead of the APCC Victims portfolio, to ensure the victims of sexual abuse will not, and cannot be, denied compensation.”