Shopworkers union has organised lobby of MPs and Peers, demanding ‘full and proper debate’ of plans to cut criminal injuries compensation

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Usdaw is taking its fight to retain compensation for injured victims of violent crime directly to MPs and peers.

At an event taking place at Westminster tomorrow morning, union officials, together with victims of violent crime and other campaigners are expected to tell MPs and Lords how important the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme is in helping innocent victims come through their ordeal and get back on their feet.

Victims of violent crime speaking at the event will include;

  • Frankie King, a shopworker who was stabbed and robbed by two men while on his way to work in an incident that ‘turned his world upside down’ and meant he was unable to work for nearly a year.
  • Albena Toneva, a shopworker hit unconscious by a customer who returned to her store in order to assault her and who suffered post traumatic stress disorder as a result.
  • Mark Miller, who was hospitalised for two-and-a-half months and was left with a brain injury following a random attack in which three youths repeatedly punched, kicked and stamped on him.

The Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme awards compensation to over 30,000 people each year who are seriously injured following a crime of violence.

Critics say cuts to the scheme proposed by Coalition ministers will mean half of all victims will receive nothing in future and almost 90% will lose out, including the most seriously injured and even the children of murder victims.

The Government has scheduled a second attempt to force through cuts to the scheme by 22 October and a revised scheme – which Usdaw says will be ‘drastically weaker’ – could be in place as early as 5 November.

Usdaw says it hopes the new Justice Minister Chris Grayling will stop the cuts, but if not, the union is demanding that both Houses of Parliament have a full and proper opportunity to debate and scrutinise any revised scheme before it is implemented.

Speaking ahead of the event, Usdaw general secretary John Hannett said: “While Usdaw and other campaigners have already sent out briefings and spoken to numerous parliamentarians about these deeply misguided proposals, we hope MPs and Lords will take the opportunity on Wednesday to hear directly what victims of violent crime think about them.

“We remain optimistic that the cuts can be stopped because many MPs and Lords we have spoken to, and those who fully understand the detail and implications of the cuts, are horrified that they were ever considered in the first place.

“If the Coalition is truly serious about putting victims of crime first, then it should immediately scrap the proposed cuts to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme.”

In addition to victims of violent crime, speakers at the event include; John Hannett; Ellie Cumbo, Victims Services Advocate of Victim Support, Paul McKeever, Chairman of the Police Federation; Shane Brennan, Public Affairs Director of the Association of Convenience Stores; Karl Tonks, President of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers; Paul Brown, Principal Solicitor and Chief Executive of the Legal Services Agency; and Neil Sugarman, delegate to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority Policy and Equality Forum.


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