What are you looking for?

1 May 2020 | Podcasts | Article by Alan Collins

HJ Talks About Abuse: Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority Claims

Spotify podcastsApple podcastsGoogle podcasts

In this episode of the HJ Talks About Abuse podcast we will discuss what the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority Scheme is – “CICA” Scheme and how, despite its good intentions, it is failing survivors of abuse.

The CICA Scheme is a government-funded scheme designed to compensate victims of violent crime in Great Britain. Compensation is calculated using a “tariff of injuries”, and so the size of the award varies to reflect the seriousness of the injury.

You must have reported matters to the police in order to apply; but it is free to apply to the scheme and you do not necessarily need a solicitor to complete the application for you.

The main pitfall of the scheme is the fact that survivors are refused compensation because of convictions that are unspent. This is regardless of any relevance to the abuse they suffered.

In recent weeks it has been publicised that a survivor of the well-known grooming gang scandal in Huddersfield was refused compensation because of a driving offence.

We often advise our sexually abused clients to make an application to the scheme, particularly those whose abuser is unknown, dead, or the institution involved is no longer operational.

We ensure that we advise our clients, and now advise you, to consider three important things:

  1. Your unspent convictions. A solution could be to wait and apply for the scheme when your conviction has become spent.
  2. The time limit. We have mentioned in previous podcasts the Limitation Act in relation to bringing a civil claim for sexual abuse. There is also a time limit to the CICA Scheme of 2 years from the date of the incident. However, there is discretion for the CICA to overlook this time limit if, for example, you have only recently reported matters to the police, you did not know the scheme existed, or you have some psychological reason for your delay in applying.
  3. Repaying a civil claim. You cannot be compensated twice for the same incident. So if you are bringing a civil claim against the perpetrators of the abuse, or an institution, and are compensated by them you will have to repay the CICA compensation award.

It is hoped that the CICA will adapt its strict approach to unspent convictions but we will have to wait and see.

If you are interested to learn more about the background to this podcast we direct you to our podcast from last March on Grooming Gangs.

We encourage anyone who has concerns about sexual abuse to get in touch. You can contact Alan Collins at [email protected] or Danielle Vincent at  [email protected].

get in touch

Author bio

Alan Collins


Alan Collins is one of the best known and most experienced solicitors in the field of child abuse litigation and has acted in many high profile cases, including the Jimmy Savile and Haut de la Garenne abuse scandals.  Alan has represented interested parties before public inquiries including the Independent Jersey Care Inquiry, and IICSA (Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse).

Internationally, Alan works in Australia, South East Asia, Uganda, Kenya, and California representing clients in high profile sexual abuse cases. Alan also spoke at the Third Regional Workshop on Justice for Children in East Asia and the Pacific in Bangkok hosted by Unicef and HCCH (Hague Conference on Private International Law).

Disclaimer: The information on the Hugh James website is for general information only and reflects the position at the date of publication. It does not constitute legal advice and should not be treated as such. If you would like to ensure the commentary reflects current legislation, case law or best practice, please contact the blog author.


Next steps

We’re here to get things moving. Drop a message to one of our experts and we’ll get straight back to you.

Call us: 033 3016 2222

Message us