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Compensation Orders

Volume 589: debated on Tuesday 16 December 2014

13. If he will undertake a review of the enforcement of compensation orders agreed by the courts. (906646)

The Government take enforcement of compensation orders very seriously and remain determined to find new ways to ensure that they are paid and that those who do not pay are traced and have to pay.

In the past five years on average only about 42% of compensation orders awarded to victims by the courts have been paid by the perpetrators of those crimes to those victims. Does the Minister think it is right that victims are victims of the crime and then victims because they are not paid compensation by perpetrators? What will he do to improve the situation?

I pay tribute to the right hon. Gentleman from the outset. He has written to me on several occasions about particular constituency cases which we have, I believe, resolved. The real problem, which is not new for this Government and has been going on for many years, is that the courts impose a fine or compensation or both and the person does not have the money to pay that. It is important, for instance, that the benefits system works with the courts and with the Ministry of Justice. I would be more than happy to meet the right hon. Gentleman as many times as he wishes so that we can try and get this right.