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The Riot Damages Act 1886 – find out how you are already protected against damages by riot.

Home / Commercial Property / The Riot Damages Act 1886 – find out how you are already protected against damages by riot.
Riot and affray are nothing new to our society and we’ve talked previously about how, as landlords and tenants,  you should be  checking your insurance to establish that you are adequately covered in the event that your shop or business is affected by riot.  Like many of our  readers, the team at Exeid.com were unaware that there is a statutory protection that can compensate you in the event that your business is affected by riot and our research has uncovered an interesting statute.  It is known as the Riot Damages Act of 1886. If you have been the subject of damages as a result of a riot or riotous assembly then provided that you make a claim within 14 days you will be entitled to compensation from the State. The idea is that a proportion of the taxes that you pay in our civil society go towards the state financed protection via the police. If they fail to provide that protection in the event of riot – and damages ensue, you are entitled to compensation. You can educate yourself here by reading the Riot Damages Act; http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/Vict/49-50/38/contents/enacted or readig more by clicking here Please circulate this article to your business colleagues to enable them to learn more about  the statute so that if they are affected, they don’t miss the claim deadlines. You can lodge a claim by ensuring that you contact the Police with the details of your claim within 14 days of the event. Forward the link below to as many businesses as possible to pass the knowledge on. http://www.exeidgroup.com/news/nottingham/the-riot-damages-act-1886-find-out-how-you-are-already-protected-against-damages-by-riot/ Keep safe -from all at Exeid.com

*EDIT 21/12/11*

Nottinghamshire Police Authority will not pay out for damage incurred during summer riots, because of a technicality in the legislation.

According to the 1886 Riot Damages Act, a ‘riot’ is defined as 12 or more people, present together, using violence in a common purpose. The authority said if only 10 people damaged a shop, it would not count as rioting and compensation claims would be refused. In cases where there is insufficient evidence of how many individuals were involved, it seems claimants are also being refused compensation. Graham Trudgill, from the British Insurance Brokers Association, said: “Although 125 people were arrested it seems that the police are trying to say that less than 12 people were involved in each of the incidents. “If they can say that, it means they don’t have to pay under the act. It means the victims, that don’t have insurance, will not get any help whatsoever.” Interestingly, vehicle damage is not covered under the Riot Damages Act – but considering this piece of legislation was passed in 1886, when motor vehicles were hard to come by, this is not surprising. In today’s society however, when there are over 27 Million privately owned vehicles in the UK, the risk of damage has increased astronomically. It seems a revision to the Riot Damages Act is long overdue.

However, Mr Trudgill added victims without insurance could challenge the authority’s decision with the help of local MPs and lawyers.

Glynn Gilfoyle, vice-chair of the Authority, said members had carefully looked at each claim and assessed the validity against the criteria within the act. He said: “While I’m sure that people will be disappointed, we cannot pay out taxpayers’ money without the appropriate evidence that this is justified. While undoubtedly criminal damage has taken place, we have no evidence that this is the result of a riot and the criteria, as stipulated within the act, has not been met.” During the trouble on 9 August a group of up to 40 people attacked Canning Circus police station in Nottingham city centre with petrol bombs. About 30 people attacked houses and cars in the St Ann’s area the day before, as estimated by CCTV analysis. Mr Gilfoyle said: “There were lots of people milling about. What we have to look at is individual cases and the ones that have been presented to the authority do not meet a claim under the act.” If you have been refused compensation under the Riot Damages Act, and feel it was an unfair decision, make sure you seek legal advice and the help of local MPs.

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