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Insult to injury: how the criminal injuries compensation system is failing victims of crime

Unrecognised victims

Last year, there were just under 1 million recorded incidents of violent crime.1 Only half of the 80,000 victims of violence who apply to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) are successful in their claims. These few - 40,000 - make up a very small proportion of the total number of victims of all crimes.2

Injuries are compensated depending on their severity and according to a tariff of twenty-five levels, ranging from £1,000 to £250,000. No compensation is paid for injuries that are deemed not serious enough to qualify for the £1,000 minimum level.

The founding principle of the state compensation system was "an expression of public sympathy".3 But, because of the nature of the system, what many people experience is far from sympathetic.


1. 991,800 violent crimes recorded by the police 2002/03. Crime in England & Wales 2002/2003 Home Office Statistical Bulletin, Editors: Jon Simmons & Tricia Dodd, July 2003.
2. 2001/02: 39,813 people received a tariff award. For the same period, 78,272 new applications were made.
3. 679 HC official report (5th series) cols 89-94 (24 June 2019).

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