Shopworkers’ union anger at government stance on violent crime

Usdaw, the shopworkers’ union, has reacted with dismay to Chris Grayling’s failure to rule out cuts to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme in his speech to the Conservative Party Conference this afternoon, stating that it believes axing compensation for victims of violent crime is ‘grossly disproportionate’.

The Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme awards compensation to over 30,000 people each year who are seriously injured following a crime of violence. Cuts to the scheme proposed by the Tory-led Coalition will mean half of victims will receive nothing in future, says the union, and almost 90% will lose out, including the most seriously injured and even the children of murder victims.

The Government is scheduled to make a second attempt to force through the cuts when the House of Commons returns next week and a revised and drastically weakened Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme could be in place by 5th November.

Usdaw is campaigning against the cuts on behalf of the many shopworkers injured every year in robberies and assaults at work. Commenting on Chris Grayling’s speech, John Hannett, Usdaw’s General Secretary, said: “Chris Grayling’s failure to even mention support for victims, let alone rule out cutting that support is extremely disappointing and makes Tory claims to be on the side of victims ring very hollow indeed.

“The imminent cuts to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme are grossly disproportionate. They will have a profoundly damaging impact on the victims of violent crime and their families yet make little if any difference to the state of the nation’s finances. If the Government is really serious about putting victims of crime first it should scrap the cuts to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme.”

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