HC Deb 06 June 1996 vol 278 c535W
Mr. Wilson

To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland under what provisions it is necessary to establish that a crime has been committed before an award can be made by the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board. [31070]

Lord James Douglas-Hamilton

The board makes ex gratia payments of compensation in respect of eligible applications received up until 31 March 1996, under the provisions of the 1990 criminal injuries compensation scheme.

The terms of the scheme are reproduced in the board's annual reports, copies of each of which have been placed in the Libraries of the House. The scheme defines a criminal injury as one directly attributable to a crime of violence, including arson or poisoning, to an offence of trespass on a railway, or to activities such as attempting to apprehend an offender or prevent an offence being committed.

It is not necessary for an offender to have been convicted of a crime, but the board will not make an award if it is not persuaded that the injury has resulted from a crime of violence and may withhold or reduce compensation if the applicant has not taken, without delay, all reasonable steps to inform the police of the circumstances of the injury and to co-operate with the police in bringing the offender to justice. It is the board's policy to ask the police to investigate compensation applications which may be fraudulent, including those where there is a suspicion that the injury did not result from a criminal act.

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