James Brokenshire has given his support to new measures to update the law governing compensation for those affected by rioting and ensure that it remains relevant in the twenty first century.
The original Riot (Damages) Act dates back to 1886 and the need to update the Act became clear following the four days of rioting that was seen across the country in the summer of 2011, causing five deaths, numerous injuries and an estimated £100m of damage. In the aftermath of the riots, various aspects of the Victorian Act were found to need modernising, including the restrictions on type of property covered and the level and basis of compensation.
Importantly, the new Bill, which was approved by the House of Commons and now passes to the House of Lords, also introduces limited cover for motor vehicles, offering protection for those whose insurance policies do not include coverage for riot damages – something that was obviously not included in the original Act.
Commenting after his appearance in the House of Commons Chamber, James said:
“Following the 2011 riots, a number of people found that the original 1886 Act made it difficult for them to claim appropriate compensation following damage to their property. The archaic wording of the Act and its historical context made it difficult to use in practice. This Bill seeks to amend that and to once again re-establish the law and order basis for the relationship between the public and the police for the twenty first century.”
“I welcome this modernisation of the law intended to ensure clearer protection for those affected by rioting and disorder.”