§ Mr. Wright
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland to what he attributes the fact that the amounts of money disbursed as compensation for criminal injuries are greater in Scotland than in England; and if he will take further steps to compel convicted criminals to meet these bills.
§ Mr. Ross
The amount of compensation paid to individuals is a matter for the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board under the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme. The average compensation awarded by single members of the Board to applicants in Scotland has been slightly higher than to those in other parts of Great Britain. The reason appears to be that in Scottish cases before the Board the injuries were more serious, possibly owing to the more frequent use of weapons, but no detailed records are maintained by the Board of this aspect of their work.
The powers of the criminal courts to require an offender to pay compensation to his victim are restricted, but the possible extension of such powers is at present under consideration. The victim may of course seek compensation under the civil law, and it is a condition of the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme that a person who has been compensated by the Board must repay the Board from any compensation he may subsequently obtain in respect of his injuries.