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Retail staff injured in armed robberies and assaults will lose out

Compensation payments to people injured in violent crimes have been slashed or withdrawn completely after the government railroaded through changes to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme (Risks 582).

The changes took effect on 27 November, scrapping five payment levels.

Shopworkers’ union Usdaw said many retail staff injured in armed robberies and assaults would lose out and postal workers union CWU said workers savaged by dogs while doing their job would now receive nothing, however serious their injuries.

Ministers said the reforms will shave £50m off the annual £200m bill.

Usdaw general secretary John Hannett said the cuts were a ‘disgraceful indictment’ of a government ‘happy to see seriously injured but innocent victims of crime lose out on payments from the scheme. These payments helped the victims replace lost wages and were a token acknowledgement from government that victims deserve help after traumatic incidents.’

CWU general secretary Billy Hayes said: ‘The government says they are tough on crime, but really they are tough on the victims of crime.’ He added: ‘The government has wasted no time in fast-tracking these latest cuts into force. It now means that the victims of violent crime – such as muggings and dog attacks – who are unable to secure compensation through the courts or insurance companies will be left with nowhere to turn for help.

Many others will only qualify for vastly reduced sums. Cutting CICS is one of the cruellest acts of this coalition government yet, taking compensation from the victims of crime who have nowhere else to turn when they are at their most vulnerable. A piece of society has died and the UK is a poorer place today as a result of these cuts.’

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