The government has performed a U-turn on plans to remove the right for compensation for retailers who are victims of violent crime.
The Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme provides victims of violent crime compensation in recognition of a sense of public sympathy for the pain and suffering of the victim.
The government had recently proposed removing funding for Band 1 to 5 injuries, which includes multiple broken ribs, speech impairment, burns and scarring, and scale down compensation for more serious Band 6 to 12 injuries such as significant facial scarring, permanent brain injury resulting in impaired balance and headaches, penetrating injury to both eyes and fractured joints including elbows, both knees and vertebra, resulting in continual significant disability.
The cutbacks would have saved £50m a year, but the decision was criticised by opposition members and victim support groups leading to the government backtracking on the plans.
A Ministry of Justice spokesperson said: “We have listened to the views expressed in Parliament and will now consider our next steps. The government is committed to providing the best possible support for victims of crime - maintaining compensation for the most seriously affected - and to reforming the criminal injuries compensation scheme to put it on a sustainable financial footing.”
Association of Convenience Stores chief executive James Lowman welcomed the reversal. “We hope that no retailer or employee suffers injury resulting from violent crime, but if they do we think they should be entitled to compensation,” he said. “We are pleased that the government have listened and decided to review their proposal for the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme and will monitor closely the Ministry of Justice next steps.”