Can I claim for compensation?

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If you are a victim of crime, you may be able to get compensation.  Compensation can help you if you have been injured, or suffered financial loss or damage to your property.

The two main ways to get compensation are:

Court-awarded compensation
If an offender is convicted of a crime against you, the court may order them to pay you compensation. You can be compensated for a range of things such as:

  • Personal injury
  • Losses from theft or damage to property
  • Losses from fraud
  • Being off work
  • Medical expenses
  • Travel expenses
  • Pain and suffering
  • Or loss, damage or injury caused to or by a stolen vehicle.

If you want the court to consider awarding you compensation in this way, you need to tell the police. As part of the process, you will need to give them details about the loss or damage you've suffered. The police will give this information to the Crown Prosecution Service, who will then make the request in court.

If you have any questions about the compensation ordered by the court, you should speak to the clerk of the court or the court manager, and not to the offender.

Criminal injuries compensation
If you have been injured by a violent crime, you can apply for compensation under the government's criminal injuries compensation scheme.

When this scheme was created it was not intended to literally compensate someone for their injuries but instead to be "an expression of public sympathy for innocent victims of violent crime." It does not matter whether the offender has been caught, but there are other rules which affect your chances of getting any money.

To qualify for compensation you need to claim within two years of the crime being committed. You must also have reported the crime to the police as soon as possible. You can claim for both physical or mental injury - but only mental injuries that are defined as a recognised psychiatric or psychological illness are covered by the scheme.

You can get more information and application forms directly from Gov.uk - see related links.