Sarah Champion MP Welcomes The Victims Strategy

Sarah Champion MP has welcomed reforms the Government announced yesterday as part of its Victims Strategy, including changes to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme (CICS). The changes included a major shift in the way that Government treats victims, meaning that victims and survivors’ needs will now be considered from the moment crime occurs.

  

Sarah has been campaigning for several years for reform on how victims and survivors are treated by the justice system, and of the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA), which administers the victim's compensation scheme.

 

The reforms contain a number of changes for which Sarah has campaigned, including a commitment to abolish the ‘same roof’ rule, which prevented victims and survivors who had lived with their abuser prior to 1979 from being eligible to claim. The Government also announced plans to review other issues within CICS, many of which disadvantage victims and survivors of CSE. 

 

As part of the Victims Strategy, the Government acknowledged a need to improve the support that is currently on offer to victims and survivors. Sarah asked the Minister to place support services for victims and survivors on a statutory footing – to ensure victims have a guarantee of support.

 

Sarah also praised the campaigning efforts of Rotherham survivors, particularly Sammy Woodhouse for her urgent efforts on behalf of victims and survivors.

 

As part of the Victims Strategy, the Government acknowledged a need to improve the support that is currently on offer to victims and survivors. Sarah said:

 

“Today’s changes are a historic first step in providing the support that victims and survivors desperately need. I will continue to campaign to make sure that no victim goes without the help and support they need, to make the journey to being a survivor.”

 

Commenting on the strategy, Sarah said:

  

“For too long, CICA has simply been unfit for purpose. The Scheme should be victim focused yet in my experience, they operate instead to deny victims of crime the compensation to which they should be entitled.’

   

“I am delighted that my campaign has led to the Government changing its position and acting to put a stop to the unnecessary distress CICA so often caused victims and survivors. As a result of these changes, fewer victims of crime will be denied compensation. It is now vital the Government ensures CICA guidance recognises that children cannot be complicit in their own abuse and that, as part of a grooming process, children are coerced into carrying out criminal activities. The Government should be fully transparent and publish the guidance.”

  

“The Government must also commit to a review of CICA decisions taken under the previous scheme to ensure that lingering injustices do not persist.”

Jim Pomeroy