If an offender is convicted, the Criminal Court may order him or her to pay compensation to a victim of his or her crime. A person may be compensated for 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.
How can I claim compensation?
Before the criminal hearing the police should have ascertained whether the victim requires some form of compensation and if so they will need to get accurate details from the victim about the loss or damage. The Prosecution will then make the request for compensation in Court. In some cases the judge will decide to award compensation even if this has not been requested.
What happens next?
If the court decides to order compensation, it may be limited to what the offender can afford and may depend on the sentence the court has already ordered. The compensation may not cover the full cost of damage or loss. The Police will inform the Victim of the award and the process to have the money recovered. Compensation is recoverable as a civil debt. HM Sheriff will automatically commence recovery/enforcement action. Not all Victims require payment of the compensation, and if this is the case then HM Sheriff should be informed.
How does HM Sheriff recovery compensation from offenders?
Enforcement Officers will make contact with the offender and investigate options for payment. Payment is ideally made in full, but if this is not possible then Enforcement Officers will aim to arrange payment by voluntary instalment. Alternatively, and if appropriate, HM Sheriff will arrest and sell the personal belongings of value which belong to the debtor.
How will I know how much I am likely to receive once enforcement action has commenced?
Once an Offender has been visited, Enforcement Officers will make a report to the Victim with the arrangements made for payment .
How will I receive compensation if the offender goes to prison?
For those offenders who go to prison, Enforcement staff will visit the offender and see what plans are intended to pay the compensation. If the Offender makes no reasonable arrangements to pay the compensation due, consideration will be given to arresting some of the 'privilege' monies that the prisoner receives weekly to settle the amount due. Any outstanding amount on the release of the prisoner will be pursued from the prisoner until the full amount has been paid.
What happens if the offender leaves the island on release still owing compensation?
For Offenders that leave the island, there is nothing further HM Sheriff can do to recover the compensation unless they return to the island in the future. Should the Victim become aware that the Offender has returned to the island they can request further enforcement action to recover the compensation.
Is there any cost for the recovery of compensation?
No fees are charged for the enforcement of Compensation Orders.