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Government accused on riots payouts

More than 130 people who claimed compensation following the London riots in 2011 are yet to receive a single penny, Labour has said.

The Opposition said of all 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 uncovered the figures through freedom of information requests to the Metropolitan Police.

Mr Reed said the figures showed Prime Minister David Cameron and London Mayor Boris Johnson had broken promises made to riot victims.

He said: "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.

"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.

"I have repeatedly asked the Prime Minister if he will meet with the riot victims who feel abandoned and ignored by the Government and the Mayor of London.

"David Cameron has failed to keep his promise to the victims, the very least he could do is meet them, look them in the eye and explain why."

The figures released by the Metropolitan Police showed 3,447 claims had been made by March 31, 2013, and 3,535 claims by November 6, 2013.

By March 31, 2013, £250.1 million had been claimed, and by November 6, 2013, claims had reached £299 million.

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

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

All the claims were made under the Riots Damages Act 1886.

A spokesman for the Mayor's Office for Policing And Crime said: "It is simply untrue to say that people are yet to receive a penny following the 2011 riots in London. All of the outstanding claims are either funds owed to insurance companies, or to settle under-insured elements of claims.

"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."

Damian Green, P olicing, Criminal Justice and Victims Minister, said: " The vast majority of victims have now received compensation - Police and Crime Commissioners and the Mayor of London's office have paid out and made offers of around £43m to date.

"Less than 1% of all claims remain outstanding. These are the most complex cases, and I know that the Met police and the Mayor's office are working hard to resolve these claims as quickly as possible.

"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."


From Belfast Telegraph