VICTIMS TO BENEFIT FROM NEW CHARGE ON CRIMINALS

Tom Arthur MSP has welcomed news that offenders are now required to contribute to the cost of supporting victims of crime.

A new financial penalty, introduced yesterday (Monday 25 November), will be imposed on all criminals who are sentenced to pay a court fine and the money raised will be banked in the Victim Surcharge Fund.

Victim support organisations will be able to apply to the fund to cover the cost of providing short-term and practical support such as new windows and locks for house breaking victims or funeral expenses for families of murder victims.

The charge applies to crimes committed from yesterday and payments from the fund will start to be made in six to 12 months’ time.

Commenting, Renfrewshire South’s MSP said:

“The Scottish Government continues to invest £18 million annually to improve the experience of victims, through providing support, advice and information and, over the coming year, further work will be carried out to identify potential gaps in how Scotland supports victims and witnesses.

“Experiencing crime can be an isolating and frightening experience and the money raised through the Victim Surcharge Fund will be a valuable addition to practical support available to those affected – making a real difference for victims and their families.”

Background

Victim Surcharge Fund regulations

38,474 fines were ordered by Scotland’s courts in 2017-18.

The table below sets out the level of surcharge that will be payable depending on the value of fine that is imposed by the court.

Amount of fine Surcharge payable
Up to and including £200 £10
Between £200.01 to £500 inclusive £20
Between £500.01 to £1,000 inclusive £40
Between £1,000.01 to £2,500 inclusive £75
Between £2,500.01 to £5,000 inclusive £175
Between £5,000.01 to £10,000 £350
In excess of £10,000 7.5% of the fine