Riot Victims ‘Failed by PM and Mayor’

Riot Victims ‘Failed by PM and Mayor’

Labour has accused David Cameron and Boris Johnson of breaking promises to more than 130 victims of the London riots who have made compensation claims but are yet to receive a single penny.

The Opposition said of all the claims, less than 16% of the requested cash has been paid out more than two years after violence and looting broke out across the capital.

Shadow home office minister Steve Reed, who uncovered the figures through freedom of information requests to the police, claimed  the riot victims felt “abandoned and ignored by the Government and the Mayor of London”.

“With the eyes of the country on him, David Cameron promised the victims of the riots they would not be forgotten and would not be left out of pocket,” he said.

“It’s disgraceful there are still residents and business owners in London facing financial hardship because they have received either too little compensation or nothing at all.”

But a spokesman for Mr Johnson’s mayoral office for policing and crime said it was “simply untrue to say that people are yet to receive a penny” following the violence.

A carpet showroom torched in Tottenham

A carpet showroom torched in Tottenham

“All of the outstanding claims are either funds owed to insurance companies, or to settle under-insured elements of claims,” he said.

“Everyone who wasn’t insured and made a valid claim has been paid, and over 96% of insured claims have been settled. Only the most complex cases remain.”

“In the last year the number of outstanding claims has reduced by over two thirds. During the summer the Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime met with a number of claimants and the insurance industry to hear their concerns and to help resolve the final issues around remaining cases, so that they are moved forward in a timely manner.”

Policing, Criminal Justice and Victims Minister Damian Green said the Met police and the Mayor’s office were “working hard to resolve” the outstanding claims “as quickly as possible”.

He added: “In order to make sure the compensation is as quick and efficient as possible in future, the Home Secretary commissioned an independent review in to the Riot Damages Act, which made several recommendations. We will be launching a public consultation on next steps early this year.”

The figures released by the Met showed 3,447 claims had been made by March 31, 2013, and 3,535 claims by November 6, 2013. By March 31, 2013, £250.1m had been claimed, and by November 6, 2013, claims had reached £299m.

Cash totals paid out by the Met Police were £35.8m(14.3%) on March 31, 2013, and £46.9m (15.7%) on November 6, 2013.

The total number of outstanding claims on November 6, 2013, was 133.

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