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On 16th July 2020 the government announced a full review of the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme. The CICA scheme currently being used is from 2012.

Why was the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme set up?

The Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme is a scheme set up to award compensation to blameless victims of violent crime in England, Scotland and Wales. Northern Ireland also has its own separate scheme.

The core purpose of the scheme is to provide financial compensation to victims of violent crime, including physical and sexual assault and terrorist attacks which happen in Great Britain. It is accepted that money does not undo what has happened to the someone who has suffered in this way, but it is recognition from the public purse of what they have suffered.

What is the CICA consultation going to look at?

The consultation will include a review of all aspects of the compensation scheme looking at how violent crime in Great Britain has changed, including an increase in domestic terrorism. The aims are to make the scheme simpler and more accessible.

What will changes to the CICA mean for victims of violent crime?

The information published by the government describes the need to maintain the principle that the scheme is one of last resort and that it needs to be both affordable and financially sustainable. Simplifying the tariff of injuries that sets out how much compensation is awarded is likely to mean fewer minor injuries are awarded any compensation at all.

We will have to wait and see what the outcome of the consultation is but can expect to see changes in relation to historic childhood sexual abuse, domestic terrorism and minor injuries.

The consultation runs from 16 July 2020 to 9 October 2020 and the response is due to be published in January 2021.