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Riot (Compensation) Bill

Published Tuesday, December 1, 2015

The riots in London and other cities in 2011 raised serious issues about insurance liability and compensation. This Bill is the response.

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This Bill proposes to make significant reforms to the existing Riot (Damages) Act 1886.  That Act is the legal expression of what has been called the ‘implied contract’ between the public and the police.  This requires that the public respect the leadership of the police when required and that the police maintain law and order.  If law and order breaks down in a riot situation the police become liable to compensate those affected.

The riots in London and other cities in 2011 meant that this little-known piece of legislation came to assume great importance in the riot’s aftermath.

Various aspects of it were found wanting, including the restrictions on type of property covered and the basis of compensation, were found wanting. However, the general principle of compensation for riot was endorsed.  A report into the workings of the Act, The Kinghan Report, suggested a cap on total payments to focus help more specifically on small businesses and individuals.  Following a consultation exercise many of the recommendations in Kinghan were agreed to.

This Bill is based upon many of those recommendations.

Commons Briefing papers CBP-7239

Authors: Tim Edmonds; Pat Strickland

Topics: Crime, Criminal law, Financial institutions, Financial services

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