Right 5, to be provided with information about compensation
Summary of right:
Court ordered compensation
If the defendant pleads or is found guilty, the judge or magistrate may order them to pay you compensation for any loss, damage or injury caused as a result of the crime. You have the right to be told by the police how to seek compensation and you may be asked to provide evidence of any loss or damage, for example receipts or quotes for repairing the damage caused during the crime.
Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme
If you have suffered a serious physical or mental injury as a direct result of a violent crime, you may be entitled to compensation through the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme. The Scheme is for those injured in England, Wales and Scotland. You have the right to be told by the police how to apply for compensation through the Scheme. The Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority is responsible for administering the Scheme.
You must apply as soon as reasonably practical. This should normally be within two years of the date of the incident. The Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority can only extend the time limits where there are exceptional circumstances. Different rules apply if you were aged under 18 years of age at the time of the incident. To be eligible for compensation, you will need to meet the wider eligibility criteria set out within the Scheme.
You should not wait for the outcome of a criminal trial to apply. Your claim is not dependent on the conviction of an offender. However, the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority may put your application on hold until you know the outcome of the trial, if they do not have sufficient information to be able to progress your claim.
The Scheme is one of the last resorts. Where the opportunity exists to pursue compensation elsewhere, you should do so. An award under the Scheme will take account of other compensatory payments made to you, such as court ordered compensation or a civil personal injury award. The Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority may defer making a decision on a claim until you take reasonable steps to seek compensation through other routes available to you and await the outcome of those steps.
Once you have applied, the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority will confirm that your application has been received and respond to all written correspondence regarding your application within 20 working days of it being received.
Having considered your application, you will be provided with information on the right to review the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority’s decision, including the procedure and time limits for reviewing that decision.
Further information about applying for compensation can be found at: www.gov.uk/claim compensation-criminal-injury, from the police, your local support service, or by contacting the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority on 0300 003 3601.
Whilst it is outside of the scope of the Code, UK victims injured in terrorist attacks abroad may also be entitled to compensation through the Victims of Overseas Terrorism Compensation Scheme. Further information about applying for compensation can be found at: www.gov.uk/ compensation-victim-terrorist-attack, or by contacting the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority on 0300 003 3601.
Civil (non-criminal) compensation.
It may be possible to seek compensation from the suspect or offender outside of the criminal justice process. If you want to consider applying for civil compensation, you should seek legal advice and assistance from a solicitor.
Getting legal advice/assistance on claiming compensation.
If you need legal advice and/or assistance you should contact a solicitor. If you are on a low income or benefits you may be able to get Legal Aid to help cover the cost. More information on whether you are eligible for Legal Aid is available at: www.gov.uk/legal-aid
To find a local solicitor you should contact the Law Society at: www.lawsociety.org.uk
Full details of right 5 can be found here: The Code of Practice for Victims
Local processes in Bedfordshire, key information and support
If someone is convicted of a crime against you, the court may order them to pay you compensation. You can be compensated for a range of things, such as:
- Personal injury
- Losses from theft or damage to property
- Losses from fraud
- Being off work
- Medical expenses
- Travel expenses
- Pain and suffering
- Loss, damage or injury caused to or by a stolen vehicle.
If you want the court to consider awarding you compensation, you need to tell the police to give them details about the loss or damage you’ve suffered. The police will give this information to the Crown Prosecution Service, who will then make the request in court.
If the court decides that an offender must pay you compensation, it will be limited to what they can afford and may depend on the sentence the court has given them. For example, the court will not usually order an offender to pay compensation if they’re being sent to prison. The compensation may not cover the full cost of your damage or loss and often the offender will be able to pay it in instalments. The offender makes the payments to the court, which will then pass the money on to you.
The court has to make sure that the offender pays the compensation. If you have any questions about this, you should speak to the clerk of the court or the court manager – you shouldn’t discuss this with the offender.
Criminal injuries compensation
If you’ve been injured by a violent crime, you can apply for compensation from the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA).
You will be eligible if the crime has been committed in the past two years, and if it was reported to the police as soon as possible.
It doesn’t matter whether the offender has been caught, but there are other rules which affect your chances of getting any money. The process can be complicated and take a long time, but we can direct you to information that explains the system, send you links to CICA’s online application form or put you in contact with their telephone contact centre. If you want to make a claim, remember that you will have to go over the details of the crime again. You might find this upsetting, but we can talk with you about the impact of the crime. You can claim for both physical and mental injury but will need to provide medical evidence to support your claim.
You can get more information and application forms directly from Gov.uk: compensation for victims or by calling their helpline on 0300 003 3601.
How we can help
We can help you to access information from CICA, to find their online application form or to contact CICA by telephone. We’ll also give you emotional support if you find going over the details of the crime distressing.
Our service is completely free and confidential.
For people on very low incomes, temporary relief is available from the Hardship Fund.
The OPCC’s / Bedfordshire Victim Care Services (BVCS) pledge of how we intend to support the implementation of this right
Ongoing projects or work relating to the Victims’ Code being undertaken by the OPCC or collaboratively with criminal justice partners
As part of the Victims’ Needs Analysis recently carried out by the OPCC, 28 recommendations were made with a view to improving the victims’ journey. They relate to further work on cultural reviews and data analysis, process changes, training and awareness programmes, victim support and approach to commissioned services across partnerships new processes. Some of the recommendations are relatable to the rights within the Victims’ Code and they will be detailed in these press releases each week.
Getting support after being affected by crime
If you would like to discuss how you could receive support with coping and recovering from the impact of crime, BVCS can help you. BVCS is free, confidential, available to everyone and is a way for you to find the help that meets your specific needs.
Contact: Bedfordshire Victim Care Services
Freephone: 0800 0282 887
(calls are free from landlines and mobiles)
https://www.bedfordshirevcs.com/ (self-referral form found in the contact page)
Monday to Friday: 8am – 8pm
Saturday: 9am – 5pm
Closed bank holidays. Out of hours you can leave a voicemail and we will call back.
Here is a guide for young victims of crime – The Victims Code: U18’s