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Wednesday, 7 September 2011

England riots: help, support and compensation

Free legal advice is being offered to victims of rioting and looting. You could also be eligible for compensation, or financial support from your local council. Find out more about riot compensation, help from your council, what's being done to prevent further violence and how to help the clean up.

If you've been made homeless

If you've been made homeless by the disturbances your local council can offer help and advice.

The government is reimbursing local authorities for up to £5,000 per household to meet temporary accommodation costs while arrangements are made.

Contact your local council for further information.

Making a claim for compensation

If you've suffered loss or damage to your home or its contents as a result of the riots, you may be able to claim compensation from your local police authority, even if you don't have insurance.

What the law says

The law says you may be eligible for compensation as a result of:

  • damage, destruction or theft to houses, shops and other buildings or their contents

You aren’t eligible for compensation from your local police authority for:

  • personal injury
  • your vehicle being damaged or stolen during the riot (unless the vehicle was inside a building affected by riots)
  • trading at your business being affected by the riots

Check your insurance policy

If you have insurance, check that your policy covers riot damage. If it does, contact your insurer directly to claim.

Your insurer can apply to the Police Authority for any additional compensation not covered by your insurance policy (for example excesses) on your behalf.

Making a claim from the local police authority

You have 42 days to make a claim for compensation. These 42 days are counted from the first day after the damage occurred.

For guidance on completing the claim form, contact the claims department by telephone on 0845 641 4925, or email the address below:

To download a riot damage compensation claim form, follow the link below.

Download a riot damage compensation claim form

Once you've completed the form, send it to:

PO Box 26948
G2 9DP

Free legal advice for riot victims

A number of legal firms have offered to provide free legal advice to victims of rioting and looting.

To help victims find free advice, the Law Society has set up a dedicated telephone helpline.

Call 020 7092 3949, or email the address below.

Further information about the service and details of how to apply can be found by following the link below.

Victim support

If you were a victim of the recent riots, Victim Support, a government-funded charity, provides free and confidential practical advice, emotional support and information about the criminal justice process.

Follow the link below to visit the Victim Support website, or call the national Supportline on 0845 30 30 900. The Supportline is open from 9.00 am to 9.00 pm Mondays to Fridays or 9.00 am to 7.00 pm on weekends.

Advice for businesses affected by the riots

If you're a business owner who has been affected by the riots, you can find further advice and information on Business Link.

Steps to tackle the disorder

Do you know these people?

The Met Police has published images of people they want to speak to

A heavy police presence is being maintained in all affected areas, including:

  • London
  • Birmingham
  • the West Midlands
  • Nottingham
  • Bristol
  • Manchester
  • Liverpool

New police powers

The police have already been authorised to use baton rounds. While water cannons aren't currently needed, plans have been put in place for them to be available at 24 hours’ notice.

The police will also be given the discretion to remove face coverings under any circumstances where there is reasonable suspicion that they are related to criminal activity.

Arrests and prosecutions

More than 3,300 people have now been arrested across the country.

Courts in London, Manchester and the West Midlands are working hard to clear the backlog of cases.

Cracking down on gangs

Gang injunctions have already been introduced in some areas. To crack down on gangs these injunctions will be used across the whole country for children and for adults.

Evicting rioters

Proposals to allow landlords to evict tenants who wreck communities beyond the immediate neighbourhood of their home have been announced. The process for evicting offending tenants would also be speeded up.

A consultation has been launched on the proposals. Follow the link below to read the proposals in full and to have your say.

Fighting back

Prime Minister David Cameron has set out the government's plans to address the social problems that caused the riots, and crack down on the criminals who took part.

 These include a 'security fightback' and measures to end the 'do what you please' society.

How you can help

You can help identify the people that have been looting, rioting and committing crime, and get involved in cleaning up the damage.

Identify wanted people

Police operations are underway to arrest the criminals who were picked up on CCTV but haven't yet been caught.

Several police forces have published images of people wanted for looting and rioting. Visit your local police force's website by following the links below.

If you have specific information about a person involved in the looting and rioting in London, contact the Metropolitan Police's Major Investigation Team on 020 8345 4142.

To provide information anonymously, visit the website of independent charity Crimestoppers and fill in an untraceable online form.

Help the clean up

People in affected areas are coming together to help clean up the damage.

The Riot Cleanup website has been set up to show when and where planned clean-ups will be held.

Find local information

Many councils are providing information on how the riots have affected your local area.

Find your local council by following the link below.

Travel disruption

Some areas may experience travel disruption because of the disturbances.

Follow the link below to use Directgov's Journey Planner to get real-time updates on travel disruption.

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