Compensation to Victims of Crime

Introduction


1. General

This page describes the Criminal and Law Enforcement Injuries Compensation (CLEIC) Scheme. The aim of the scheme is to provide cash assistance both to those who are injured, disable or killed as a result of a crime of violence and to those who are accidentally injured, disabled or killed by a law enforcement officer using a weapon in the execution of his duty and to their dependants in cases of death in both situations. The scheme is non-means tested. Payments under the scheme are to be made from public funds.


2. Administration

The scheme is administered by two Boards, the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board and the Law Enforcement Injuries Compensation Board. Appointments to the Boards are made by the Chief Executive. The Secretariat to the Boards is provided by the Social Welfare Department, which is also responsible for the assessment and payment of compensation.



Eligibility


A. for criminal injuries compensation


3. Scope of scheme

For the purpose of this scheme, compensation may be claimed for any injury or death resulting from any criminal offence, which involves the use of violence by the assailant on the victim.


4. Who is eligible to apply

The Criminal Injuries Compensation Board will consider an application for compensation where the applicant or the deceased (in the case of an application by a spouse or dependant) sustained in Hong Kong personal injury or death directly attributable to and arising out of:

  1. a crime of violence (including arson and poisoning);
  2. an arrest or attempted arrest of an offender or suspected offender;
  3. the prevention or attempted prevention of the commission of an offence; or
  4. the giving of help to any police officer or other person who is engaged in arresting or attempting to arrest an offender or suspected offender or preventing or attempting to prevent the commission of an offence.

5. Qualifying conditions

Compensation will not be payable unless the Board is satisfied:

  1. that the injury was not caused by a law enforcement officer in circumstances falling within the scope of the Law Enforcement Injuries Compensation Scheme (see Sections 6-8 below);
  2. that the injury gave rise to at lease 3 days' loss of earnings or working capacity except in cases of death and disability;
  3. that the circumstances of the injury or death have been the subject of criminal proceedings, or were reported to the police without unreasonable delays;
  4. that the applicant has given the Board all related information and reasonable assistance, particularly in relation to any medical reports which it may require;
  5. that for a new application, the claim for compensation has been made within 3 years# of the date of the incident;
  6. that for a re-application where the first claim for compensation had been made within 3 year# of the date of the incident but the case was closed due to self-withdrawal or lost contact, the second or subsequent claim has been made either within 3 year# of the date of the incident or within 1 year# of the date of self-withdrawal or lost contact, whichever is later; and
  7. that the victim is a person having the right to remain in Hong Kong or being permitted to remain in Hong Kong under the Immigration Ordinance, Cap. 115, who is not in contravention of a limit of stay (if any) in force against him at the time of the incident. Where permission to remain is granted subsequently after a person has landed in Hong Kong or that permission is granted to extend a person's stay after he has been overstaying in Hong Kong, payment of compensation may be granted if the incident occurs on or after the effective date of such permission.

Where the applicant or the deceased and the offender were living together at the time of incident as members of the same family or as man and wife, compensation will be only payable under certain conditions.
Traffic offences will be excluded from this scheme except in cases of a deliberate attempt to run the victim down.



B. for law enforcement injuries compensation


6. Scope of scheme

Compensation may be claimed for any injury or death resulting from the use of a weapon by a law enforcement officer in the course of his duty. A law enforcement officer means any police officer or other public officer on duty.


7. Who is eligible to apply

The Board will consider an application for compensation where the applicant or the deceased (in the case of an application by a spouse or dependant) sustained in Hong Kong personal injury or death caused, whether negligently or otherwise, by a law enforcement officer using a weapon in the execution of his duty in connection with:

  1. an arrest or attempted arrest of an offender or suspected offender;
  2. the prevention or attempted prevention of the commission of an offence;
  3. the giving of help to any police officer or other person who is engaged in arresting or attempting to arrest an offender or suspected offender or preventing or attempting to prevent the commission of an offence.

8. Qualifying conditions

Compensation will not be payable unless the Board is satisfied:

  1. that the injury gave rise to at lease 3 days' loss of earnings or working capacity except in cases of death and disability;
  2. that the circumstances of the injury or death were reported to the police without unreasonable delays;
  3. that the applicant has given the Board all related information and reasonable assistance, particularly in relation to any medical reports which it may require;
  4. that for a new application, the claim for compensation has been made with 3 years# of the date of the incident;
  5. that for a re-application where the first claim for compensation had been made within 3 years# of the date of the incident but the case was closed due to self-withdrawal or lost contact, the second or subsequent claim has been made either within 3 years# of the date of the incident or within 1 year# of the date of self-withdrawal or lost contact, whichever is later; and
  6. that the victim is a person having the right to remain in Hong Kong or being permitted to remain in Hong Kong under the Immigration Ordinance, Cap. 115, who is not in contravention of a limit of stay (if any) in force against him at the time of the incident. Where permission to remain is granted subsequently after a person has landed in Hong Kong or that permission is granted to extend a person's stay after he has been overstaying in Hong Kong, payment of compensation may be granted if the incident occurs on or after the effective date of such permission.

Applying for compensation


9. How to apply

Application forms can be obtained from the Board's office, police stations, District Offices of the Home Affairs Department, offices of the Medical Social Service and Social Security Field Units of the Social Welfare Department. This application form, giving brief particulars of the incident, the victim or the applicant (in cases where the applicant is not the victim), must be signed by the applicant. It can be posted or sent by hand to:

The Secretary
Criminal and Law Enforcement Injuries Compensation Boards
c/o Social Welfare Department
7/th floor, Wu Chung House,
213 Queen's Road East,
Wanchai,
Hong Kong.
Tel. No. 2838 6079, 2892 5220, 2892 5222 and 2892 5223


10. How an application is processed

Where the criminal incident as stated by the victim or applicant has been confirmed by the police, the application will be processed.
Before the appropriate Board considers an application, the Board's Secretariat will seek all relevant information about the case, including the facts of the incident and medical and social information on the victim.

The Board will then decide whether compensation is payable. The applicant will be notified in writing of the Board's decision as to whether compensation is payable, and if so, the amount of compensation approved.


11. Appeals

An applicant may appeal against the decision of the Board within one month after the date of notification and ask for his case to be reviewed by an appeal board. At a review hearing, the applicant may put his case forward himself, and may bring along another person, friend or relative, to assist him. In exceptional cases and subject to the approval of the appeal board, the appellant may be legally represented at his own expense.

Deciding whether compensation is payable


12. Role of the Compensation Boards

The decision as to whether an application is allowed or rejected, on the basis of the available evidence, will be taken by the appropriate Board. The Boards will also decide whether there are any special circumstances which justify increasing or reducing the normal amount of compensation payable. (This is explained in Section 15 below).


13. Role of the Social Welfare Department

The Secretariat for the Boards is provided by the Social Welfare Department and the staff concerned act for the Boards.


The compensation paid under the scheme


14. Basis of payment

Compensation awarded by the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board will be based on the same rates of compensation as are paid under the Emergency Relief Fund. The types of payment as well as the levels and conditions of grants are contained in the Payment Schedule of the Emergency Relief Fund which is adjusted regularly. A copy of this Payment Schedule is given in the Appendix.

An application from a dependant of a victim killed by a law enforcement officer will be considered by the Law Enforcement Injuries Compensation Board for payment if he is a dependant under the definition used in the Fatal Accidents Ordinance, Cap/ 22. If he is not a dependant under this definition, his application will be considered by the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board.


15. Discretionary power of the Compensation Boards

The Criminal and Law Enforcement Injuries Compensation Boards have the power to increase or reduce the amount of compensation, or to reject the application altogether, depending on the circumstances of the case. The compensation payable on the basis of the Emergency Relief Fund scale may be increased by up to 100% in the following situations:

  1. where the victim was effecting or attempting an arrest of an offender or a suspected offender, preventing or attempting to prevent the commission of a crime, or giving help to any police officer or other person engaged in such activities; or
  2. where, subsequent to the events giving rise to the claim, the victim made exemplary efforts, in the face of personal embarrassment, inconvenience or danger, to assist the police in the arrest or prosecution of an offender or suspected offender; or
  3. where the victim was injured or killed by bullets fired by a person other than the police in the event of a police-criminal shoot-out giving rise to the claim and his conditions warrant a compassionate consideration. (Note: If the victim's conditions also fall under the provisions stipulated in (a) above, the total compensation payable may be increased by up to a maximum of 200%).

In addition, the Boards may, on compassionate ground, increase the Disability Grant, the Injury Grant and the Interim Maintenance Grant payable by up to 100% to a victim of rape.

Compensation may be reduced or refused if the conduct, character and way of life of the victim were contributory factors to the incident.
The Boards also have discretion to make special arrangements for the administration of any money awarded as compensation.


16. Compensation received outside the scheme

The scheme does not affect the applicant's right to pursue claims for damages or other compensation outside the scheme in respect of the same incident. Under the no double compensation principle, those beneficiaries of the scheme, who receive damages or other compensation outside the scheme in respect of the same incident, will be required to refund either the payments they have received from the scheme or the amount of damages or compensation, whichever is the less. However, the portion of increased award granted to "civic minded" applicants in accordance with sub-paragraphs 15(a) and (b) above will not be repayable.


17. How payment is made

Normally, the compensation will be paid to the applicant's bank account by means of the auto-pay system. However, the applicant may request either to collect a cheque at the payment office of the Social Welfare Department or, under special circumstances, to have a cheque through direct home delivery.


Identification of other needs


18. What if there are other needs?

If, during the course of enquiries into an application, other needs, e.g. for comprehensive social security assistance, old age allowance, disability allowance, or rehabilitative care are uncovered, follow-up action will be taken with the Social Welfare Department to see the appropriate assistance will be given.



# Note for sub-paragraph 5(e), 5(f), 8(d) and 8(e):

In reckoning the 3-year or the 1-year period, the day on which the incident happens or the day of self-withdrawal or lost contact is excluded. If the last day of the period is a public holiday or a gale warning day (i.e. tropical cyclone warning signal No. 8 or above is in force), the period shall include the next normal working day. Applications are considered to have been formally made only when they are received by the Social Welfare Department.

Criminal and Law Enforcement Injuries Compensation Section
7th floor, Wu Chung House,
213 Queen's Road East
Wanchai,
Hong Kong.