HC Deb 20 March 1998 vol 308 c742W
Ms Perham

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what plans he has to review the enforcement of compensation orders; and what assessment he has made of the advantages of establishing a victim compensation fund. [35064]

Mr. Michael

The Government have implemented provisions in the Crime (Sentences) Act 1997, currently being piloted in Norfolk and Manchester, which will allow courts to impose community service orders, curfew orders or a disqualification from driving for up to 12 months on those in default of paying fines or compensation orders. This Act also enables courts to impose an attendance centre order on such a defaulter aged under 25 where this had previously been possible only for those under 21. The Working Group on the Enforcement of Financial Penalties, set up by the Lord Chancellor's Department, continues to look for improvements in the enforcement of financial penalties and has issued good practice guidance to magistrates' courts on the subject.

The question of whether those awarded compensation by the courts should receive payment from some sort of central compensation fund is being reconsidered as part of the current comprehensive spending review.