Reed welcomes new riot compensation proposals
New proposals to support the victims of riots, such as those seen in Croydon in 2011, have been welcomed by Croydon North MP Steve Reed.
The Riot Compensation Bill successfully passed its first stage in the House of Commons on Friday 5 February with cross-party support. The Bill aims to modernise the compensation system – updating the current legislation which dates back to 1886.
During the passage of the Bill, Steve Reed MP called for stronger measures to protect riot victims.
Speaking in the debate on Friday, Steve raised the issue of donations from the public being deducted from official compensation payments.
Croydon was hit very hard in the 2011 riots. Many members of the public, seeing the damage caused to local businesses, homes and property, wanted to help those seeking to recover and deal with the losses incurred, and they generously gave money to a fund set up by the mayor of Croydon for precisely that purpose.
I would like those who give generously to help their neighbours who have suffered a loss to have the reassurance that the money they contribute will not subsequently be deducted from official compensation payments, but tragically that is exactly what happened in Croydon in 2011. Money was donated to the mayor’s fund and was then distributed to individuals and businesses that had suffered a loss, but those generous payments were then deducted from the official compensation payments that were made.
That is clearly wrong and a disincentive to people to give generously, as they did in Croydon to help their friends and neighbours. It is entirely wrong that such generosity should be discouraged by the deduction of those contributions from official payments.
The Bill will now go to the House of Lords for further debate.
You can watch Steve’s contribution above.
Steven Reed is Labour MP for Croydon North and Shadow Minister for Children and Families. In 2018 his private member’s bill on reducing violent mental health restraint became law. In June 2019 he launched Labour’s civil society strategy outlining radical plans to empower citizens and communities.
Steve chairs the Cooperative Councils Innovation Network, co-chairs the All-Party Parliamentary Group for London, was Leader of Lambeth Council 2006-12 where he led the council’s children’s services to become best-rated in the country and pioneered the public-health approach to tackling violent youth crime. He worked in publishing for 16 years and was an elected trade union branch secretary.