If the accused person is found guilty of the crime, you may able to claim compensation from them.

You can also ask for them to return your possessions - this is called 'restitution'.


If your property has been stolen, you can ask the court to have it returned.

You can put this request in your Victim Impact Statement.

It is up to the judge or magistrate whether they make an order for restitution.

Court-ordered compensation

When the offender is sentenced, the court can also order them to:

  • pay you a fixed sum
  • compensate you for any lost, damaged or sold property (like damaged or stolen vehicles).

This is the only way to claim compensation for property loss or damage.

The court needs to know the details of any loss or damage caused by the offender. You can put this information in your Victim Impact Statement.

The judge or magistrate will decide whether to make an order that forces the offender to pay you.

Compensation from the offender is only available if they:

  • are convicted of an offence
  • have enough income or assets to pay you.

If they don't have enough money, the offender probably won't be ordered to pay you compensation.

If you would like to ask for offender-paid compensation, you should talk to the investigating officer.

Civil action against the offender

Suing the offender in civil court is another option to try and get compensation from the offender. You must know who the offender is for this process.

This process is separate to the criminal court case and is only worthwhile if the offender is able to pay.

Sometimes the costs of proceedings outweigh any financial gain.

You should always get legal advice about this process - see the Law Society Referral Service for details.