Violent Crime And Criminal Injuries Compensation In The UK
28th May 2013
It is often said that the UK is becoming a more violent society and that people are at more risk of being injured in a violent crime than they ever were. Stories of stabbings, shootings and the murder of ‘have-a-go heroes’ are commonplace and you could be forgiven for thinking that you are more likely to claim criminal injuries compensation nowadays than you have ever been.
Nonetheless, a recent report from the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP) revealed that the UK is actually a considerably safer place than it used to be. The number of violent crimes recorded in the country has fallen by 11% in the last decade, and although 17% of Brits believe that they will one day become a victim of violent crime, statistics indicate that only 4% will.
This decline is the most pronounced of any country in Europe, and a number of different factors have been held up as being responsible for this drop. These are, an increase in real wages enhanced by minimum wage laws, a fall in levels of alcohol consumption, an aging populace, and improved policing supported by advanced technologies. There could be other factors that the IEP did not notice, including cultural changes – people may be more reluctant to resort to violence than they used to be, with reports of people being killed by one punch or fights escalating out of control signalling to Britons that violence can lead to catastrophe.
Some of the factors the IEP said are linked to violent crime include extreme poverty, which the group claimed is the strongest indicator that someone will commit violence, with over croweded housing, single-parent families and teenage pregnancy rates also linked to high levels of violence within an area, indicating criminal injuries compensation cases could be more commonplace in these districts. Glasgow was found to be the most violent urban area of the UK, with its murder rate doubling the nationwide average, while Cardiff was the most peaceful.
Criminal injuries compensation – be compensated following violent crimes
However, despite the relative safeness of the UK, you should still apply for criminal injuries compensation if you have been the victim of a violent crime. While the payment you receive can never fully compensate you for the pain and suffering you have been through or the injuries you have suffered, it will demonstrate the sympathy of the public and will likely be received happily. In certain cases, you may also be able to apply for additional money for special expenses, loss of earnings and other costs, but generally, criminal injuries compensation payments will be based on the specific injuries you sustained.
The Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority is intended to be a last resort, and the body will expect you to have sought compensation from the person who was directly responsible for your criminal injuries, or alternatively those who are indirectly responsible. Insurers and other organizations can also pay criminal injuries compensation – for example, if you are struck by an uninsured, drunk driver in a motor vehicle accident, you may be able to seek money from the Motor Insurers’ Bureau.
In many cases, however, the perpetrators of violent crime may be unable to afford to pay you compensation, and there may be no organizations that are indirectly responsible for your injuries. It can be useful for claimants to speak to solicitors in Newcastle or elsewhere to discuss the particulars of their case, as this can help them receive the highest amount of criminal injuries compensation and ensure the responsible parties are held to account for their violence or recklessness.
You will be eligible to receive a payment from the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority if:
- You were the victim of a violent crime
- You do not hold any blame for the crime
You may also be able to make a claim if:
- You are a dependent of or other qualifying relative of a person who was the victim of a violent crime and died from their injuries
- You sustained psychological or mental damages from being involved in the aftermath of a crime in which your loved one sustained injuries, or if you witnessed this crime and suffered mental injuries as a result of this
- You sustained damages while taking a justified risk, such as trying to prevent or halt a crime
Figures stating the UK is a less violent society are as good as meaningless if you or a loved one has been the victim of a violent crime. Applying for criminal injuries compensation can be the silver lining to your dark raincloud.