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Well I\’ll be buggered

They really are desperate, aren\’t they?

There was something sensible-ish about the Criminal Compensation Board. If you had a criminal record then any compensation you got under the scheme was reduced.

Now they\’re extending this scheme of discounts:

Under the new rules, a deduction must be made for any unspent convictions, including motoring offences, \’unless there are exceptional circumstances\’.

Motoring offenders\’ compensation payments will be cut by between ten and 25 per cent – the same reductions that apply to hardened criminals.

Yup, if you\’re raped and also have a speeding ticket then your compensation is reduced.

All to save £5 million next year. That is, to save the amount by which the catering system (one of our favourite numbers around here) at the Palace of Westminster is subsidised.

Why is my mind filled with visions of rolling tumbrils?

13 thoughts on “Well I\’ll be buggered”

  1. No, what’s wrong is the scheme’s existence.

    If you’re raped or beaten by someone with assets, the government should make it as easy as possible for you to sue them for as much as possible. But if your assailant doesn’t have any money, why the hell should that entitle you to a whack of compo from the public purse?

    (and finally: if you accept the principle that it’s fair enough to dock compo from shoplifters for being raped, as was the case before, then I’m struggling to see why speeders should be any different…)

  2. Even if you are willing to use the purely utilitarian criterion of saving money (which, I will admit, has to be considered at some point during the decision process) then you’re talking about five or six hours of public spending siphoned from the torrent that Gordon and his gang of cut-throats are pissing down the drain 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 52 weeks a year. It’s like putting a plaster on a severed femoral artery.

    johnb: what is the purpose of the scheme: punishment or restitution? If the former, ability to pay is an issue; if the latter, it is not, and payouts fall under the same rubric as the provision of public healthcare, to shich I assume you are not apposed.

  3. “No, what’s wrong is the scheme’s existence.”

    It’s a school of thought. Assuming that the government also made it easy to sue government departments too, when they have been shown to have dropped the ball.

    But certainly, abolishing it on those grounds would be far, far more honest than this frankly insane suggestion…

  4. @3, I’d be comfortable with people who’ve become disabled as a result of being victims of crime getting money from the taxpayer to provide a decent standard of living. But if someone’s had their kid murdered, but is emotionally stable enough that they can still work, support themselves, etc, then offering them cash to ‘make it better’ seems more like an insult than anything else.

  5. “I’d be comfortable with people who’ve become disabled as a result of being victims of crime getting money from the taxpayer to provide a decent standard of living.”

    They already get Disability Living Allowance.

  6. In New Zealand all personal injury cases are against the state: the state pays compensation fir dodgy fairground rides as well as rape. Then the state sues the perpetrator (or forces common sources of accidents, such as fairgrounds and motorists) to pay a levy.

    The system works pretty well. Then again, how could any system that eradicated personal injury lawyers not work well?

  7. I do not think we could adopt the New Zealand model. The Kiwis are a nation of 4 million people and there simply is not enough money for oversized government. They have not got accustomed to literally millions of people with time on their hands, inventing new rules. If the system was brought here it would become a parasitical New Labour quango like the rest (eg Charity Commission), wielding enormous power and abused for social engineering purposes.

  8. Ten out of ten to the government for noticing that something is wrong, and zero for analysis. Start with the name Criminal Compensation Board.

    Most of what that board provides is restitution (derived from the same root as restore). That means giving money to people who have suffered mental or physical damage as a result of a crime. Directly or indirectly.

    Compensation is what you give to people when their property has been lost, stolen or destroyed.

    If a citizen gets mugged on the street and has their mobile phone stolen, they can claim for restitution from the CCB for trauma. If the mugger has assets, they can sue the perpetrator (not the CCB) for compensation. The CCB doesn’t buy the victim a replacement phone.

    Attention John B: the CCB reduces payments to previous offenders on the grounds that they are less likely to be traumatized. It’s a crap argument.

    If mugger A walks down the street with his swag bag and has the ill earned gains removed at force by mugger B, like it or not, mugger A is entitled to restitution; not very much, and it is unlikely that anyone in the judicial system will alert them. It’s just part of the criminal business.

    If shoplifter C walks down the street and is raped, restitution will be reduced, even if shoplifter C isn’t a rapist.

    None of the above makes sense but it is a fair description of UK law.

  9. The original idea of schemes like this was that decent people who went to the aid of the forces of law and order would not be out of pocket if they were injured helping the law to be enforced. So, for instance, if you were injured rushing to the aid of a constable, you would be paid compensation for the loss of pay you incurred while in hospital.

    Naturally, under the wise and benevolent patronage of the civil service, expanded to include compensation for anyone injured by crime, and later, anyone who suffered from being a victim of crime, i.e. every whining puling parasite who suffered ‘psychological injury’.

    Then, in order to save money, people who were held ‘partly responsible’ for their injuries, by, for instance, helping the law to be enforced by going to the aid of a constable, was excluded from compensation because they had brought it on themselves.

    Now, of course, no-one but a lunatic would go to the aid of a constable because anyone who did would be arrested (‘human rights’ of the criminals), but we are left with the rotting remains of the original system which now exists solely to employ public sector parasites.

  10. Reading all the comments, especially John B, I have obviously misunderstood the reason for the CCB.

    As I had previously understood it, its existance was because we have given up the right to defend ourseleves to the State.

    So, the woman who doesn’t want to be raped isn’t allowed to carry a gun to protect herslf on the understanding that the State will protect her. If it doesn’t then she is entiteled to compensation because the State has failed its duty to protect her.

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