CommentIsLinked@LDV… Vince Cable: Banks pay up for their ‘crimes’, so why not rapists?

Over at the Daily Mail, Lib Dem deputy leader Vince Cable argues that Britain’s system of compensation awards is “mad”. Here’s an excerpt:

… The real scandal, however, is the meanness of the criminal injuries and military compensation system. The Armed Forces scheme is now being, belatedly, reviewed. But criminal injury awards seem likely to remain not only pitifully small but severely restricted and tardy. I had to write angry letters to the Government agency dealing with criminal injuries when a constituent – an innocent bystander who had been attacked by gangsters throwing acid in a pub – had been waiting for more than four years for a payout.

Compensation is withheld if the victim of crime is held to have provoked the injury by self-defence. There is now the outrageous suggestion that a victim’s previous motoring offences be considered in making awards to victims of violent crimes. Several years ago, I set up a parliamentary all-party group for victims of crime and sought to remedy these injustices. For many victims, especially of violent crime, the compensation issue is a secondary one.

Their primary concern is that criminals should be caught and properly punished. My constituent who was raped has the satisfaction of knowing that her assailant was caught and is now enjoying a long prison sentence. But then to offer her just £3,300 compensation borders on insult.

Lurking behind the meanness of criminal injuries compensation are Government budget worries. Surely the fair and sensible way to deal with the problem is not to punish the victim of crime but the criminal. Criminal injuries compensation should be made more generous but with the cost being claimed back from prisoners’ earnings while in prison or on release.A lot of prisoners are released early while their victims’ injuries may be permanent.

If City banks can be made to pay up for harassment of employees and a council made to pay up for negligent site works 20 years ago, surely criminals can be made to pay for their violent crimes.

You can read the article in full HERE.

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