More than two years after the 2011 riots, and there’s still 133 people who claimed official compensation who are yet to receive a penny to help them re-build their homes and businesses.
Those are the findings of Steve Reed OBE, the MP for Croydon North, based on figures from the Metropolitan Police.
Reed highlighted the bold – and still unfulfilled – promises made by Prime Minister “Call Me Dave” Cameron and London Mayor Boris Johnson when doing photo-ops for the world’s media on the wreckage-strewn streets of Croydon in the days immediately after the northern part of the borough were devastated by arson and looting on August 8, 2011.
“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,” said Reed, now a Labour shadow Home Office spokesman.
“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,” Reed said.
“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 3,535 claims had been made by last November under the Riots Damages Act 1886, amounting to £299 million.
Yet cash totals paid out by the Metropolitan Police were £46.9million – barely 15 per cent of the amounts claimed. The number of claims still to be settled was 133.
City Hall rejected Reed’s claims. “Everyone who wasn’t insured and made a valid claim has been paid, and over 96 per cent of insured claims have been settled. Only the most complex cases remain,” an official spokesman for London Mayor Boris Johnson’s Office for Policing And Crime told the Evening Boris.
“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.
“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.”
As Inside Croydon reported on the second anniversary of the Croydon Riots last August, independent research conducted by the BBC found that 75 per cent of the policy recommendations that were put forward after the riots have failed to be addressed by the Government. And even companies such as Croydon’s Reeves furniture business which was seen burning to the ground in television pictures beamed around the world had yet to receive any compensation, whether through insurers or the Riot Act compensation scheme.
“We were indemnified by our insurance company so they’re taking up our claim under the Riots Act. To be honest we’ve not really heard anything about that… how far that’s got through the insurers I can’t say,” we reported Trevor Reeves as saying four months ago.
Coming to Croydon
- STDLCC Screening: Wolf Children, Jan 6
- STDLCC Screening: Museum Hours, Jan 13
- “Croydon Communities Consortium” meeting, Jan 14
- Norwood Society talk, Upper Norwood Library, Jan 16
- STDLCC Screening: The East, Jan 20
- STDLCC Screening: Winter Nomads, Jan 27
- Steve Knightly at Stanley Halls: Feb 5
- Purley Swimathon: Feb 8 and 13
- Norwood Society talk, Upper Norwood Library, Feb 20
- Norwood Society talk, Upper Norwood Library, Mar 20
- Inside Croydon: Croydon’s only independent news source, based in the heart of the borough – 516,649 page views (Jan-Dec 2013)
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