The Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) has been accused of “re-traumatising” victims who seek compensation following injury suffered as a result of a crime.
In a wide ranging review the Victims Commissioner Baroness Newlove found that the CICA heavily structured extremely slow process was adding to victims suffering. Among the issues raised delays and lack of empathy were high on the list of concern. Sexual abuse victims in particular are not receiving an adequate response from the Authority.
The CICA in our own experience are under huge strain with huge claim numbers and insufficient staff levels. However it is very often insensitive decision making by claim handlers and slow plodding procedures that cause the most stress for innocent victims of crime.
We are aware of some rather straightforward cases taking up to 4 years to conclude. There can be no justification for such delays.
The CICA is conducting its own internal review this year following a groundbreaking Court of Appeal decision on the “same roof” policy. This controversial rule precluded those injured by a criminal or abusive act perpetrated by a family member before 1979 from making a successful claim.
The results of the internal review are expected around the Spring 2019.